Verify: Is a hazardous chemical in your toothpaste?

Verify: Is a hazardous chemical in your toothpaste?

QUESTION:

Is a hazardous chemical called triclosan in your toothpaste? 

ANSWER: 

If you use Colgate Total, then we can verify that it is. That's the only toothpaste with triclosan in it. 

But is it safe? 

According to Colgate, it was proven to the FDA that triclosan is safe for toothpaste and that's why it's still used. The FDA told the New York Times the balance of benefit and risk is favorable.

PROCESS:

Triclosan is an anti-bacterial chemical compound. In September, the FDA banned Triclosan from soap and body wash.

An article calls it a hazardous toxin that can damage your kidneys, liver and gut. The article goes on to say putting this in your mouth is like rinsing with Agent orange. 

So why would something be not safe for soap but ok for your toothpaste?

The New York Times points to an independent review of 30 studies showing that toothpaste with triclosan and fluoride reduced plaque, gum inflammation and gum bleeding and over time, it led to a drop in cavities.   

Colgate claims that the reason triclosan is banned in soap is that the soap makers didn't show enough evidence the chemical is safe. 

WANT TO VERIFY SOMETHING?

Anytime you question one of our stories or anything else you see in print on TV or in your social media feeds, write to us and ask us to verify. You can also reach out on Twitter, Facebook or email us at verify@wusa9.com.

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© 2017 WUSA-TV


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