Triclosan and Toothpaste: What You Need to Know
If you’ve been searching for ways to improve your health and create a more organic lifestyle, don’t overlook that innocent-looking tube of toothpaste in your bathroom. Toothpaste is a particular concern for us, not only because we make a natural toothpaste alternative that works, but because unlike other cosmetics that leach chemicals into your skin; we put toothpaste directly in our mouths at least twice a day! Some popular brands of toothpaste contain the antibacterial triclosan, and this is one chemical that everyone needs to be aware of. Despite conclusive evidence that triclosan use carries serious risks, some toothpaste brands continue to boast of its effectiveness in fighting gingivitis. Here’s why more than 70 groups filed a petition with the EPA to restrict the use of triclosan:
Depresses muscle function
Researchers at University of California discovered that even small quantities of triclosan interfere with the cellular communication channels that signal muscles to contract. Your heart is a muscle, and “the effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic,” according to one professor who co-authored the study.
A 2010 study at University of Michigan cited by New York Orthodontists showed that exposure to triclosan resulted in decreased immune function, and children who used products with triclosan had more hay fever and allergies.
Alters hormone release and thyroid function
This fact is even admitted in the FDA’s consumer information sheet on triclosan. Beyond Pesticides cites research showing that triclosan alters thyroid function, affects male and female reproductive hormones and may affect fetal development.
Encourages growth of drug-resistant bacteria
Bacteria exposed to triclosan develop resistance to it and wastewater treatment plants are unable to filter it out of water that is returned to the environment. Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has declared that all government agencies in his state must avoid purchasing any products that contain this chemical.
Brands to avoid
Colgate Total “The number one trusted choice.” According to Colgate’s website, Total is the nation’s most popular toothpaste choice. Triclosan is also used in Reach Antibacterial Toothbrush and Janina Diamond Whitening Toothpaste and more... A list of household and personal care products containing this dangerous compound can be found here.
According to CBS news, 1 million pounds of triclosan are produced annually in the United States, and the chemical now turns up in breast milk, urine, and plasma. The lead researcher at University of California commented that “These findings provide strong evidence that the chemical is of concern to both human and environmental health.” Even the American Medical Association has officially stated that “it may be prudent to avoid the use of antimicrobial agents [such as triclosan] in consumer products.” With chemicals such as triclosan appearing in so many products on grocery store shelves, it’s reassuring to know that safe, natural alternatives are available like our completely natural & yummy trace mineral tooth brushing powder available here: 'The Dirt' Tooth Brushing Powder.