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Colgate Total toothpaste safety issues

Sep 4

Written by:
04/09/2012 15:12  RssIcon

Colgate-Palmolive began removing triclosan, a pesticide and fungicide, from its Palmolive washing-up liquid in 2011 amid growing consumer, regulatory and legislative scrutiny of the antibacterial ingredient. But Ethical Consumer's buyers' guide to toothpaste has revealed that it’s still the key active ingredient to fight gingivitis in Colgate Total toothpaste, a billion-dollar-plus global brand.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved use of triclosan as safe and effective for the prevention of gingivitis in Colgate Total in 1997, and that hasn’t changed. Then it said that toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain the chemical are better at preventing gingivitis than similar products without triclosan.The FDA is currently reviewing the safety of the chemical.

However, there’s been a notable shift away from triclosan in formulations by most manufacturers of consumer products. For example, GlaxoSmithKline adopted a cautious approach, withdrawing triclosan from its Aquafresh, Sensodyne and Corsodyl range in response to consumer concerns in 2010. Colgate-Palmolive takes the view that the benefits of adding triclosan to its Total range outweigh the risk.

The concern is based on studies about the possible health impacts of triclosan, which the FDA said in 2010 “raise valid concerns about the effect of repetitive daily human exposure to these antiseptic ingredients.” Several studies have shown that triclosan disrupts the thyroid hormone in frogs and rats, while others have shown that triclosan alters the sex hormones of laboratory animals. Others studies have shown that triclosan can cause some bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. 1

We also found triclosan listed as an ingredient in Mentadent P and Mentadent Sensitive – two Unilever toothpaste brands.

Check out Ethical Consumer's Best Buy recommendations.

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