Cancer-linked Colgate Total Toothpaste is in the news again. Since Colgate’s Total toothpaste original approval in 1997, researchers have gained new insights into chemicals that disrupt the endocrine (hormone) system. One of these chemicals is the triclosan (5-Chloro-2-(2,4 – dichlorophenoxy) phenol), one of the active ingredients in Colgate’s Total toothpaste.
Recent science has shown that even small doses of certain chemicals can significantly affect hormone functions, if exposed at the wrong moment. In the early 2000’s, Caven Helbing, a professor at the University of Victoria, in Canada, found that tadpoles, exposed to a dose equivalent to 1/10 of what a person would use in squeezing a pea-sized amount of Total toothpaste onto a toothbrush twice a day, developed into smaller froglets and had malformed legs.
Scientific studies that have raised health concerns include a 2012 study linking triclosan to reduced fertility in mice, and a 2103 study linking it to lowered sperm production and changed sperm shape in rats.
In 2010, the European Union banned triclosan in materials that come into contact with food. Companies including Johnson & Johnson and Proctor and Gamble Co. have vowed to remove it from their lineups. In May, Avon announced its plans to go triclosan-free. GlaxoSmithKline PLC, which once had triclosan in some Aquafresh and Sensodyne toothpastes, has reformulated all of its oral care products.
This Spring, Minnesota became the first state to pass a triclosan ban. Effective 2017, the state will prohibit the sale of triclosan-based cleaning products for the hand and body — except those with FDA approval, such as Total.
Most of my dental patients already use a safe and effective toothpaste called Tooth & Gums paste by the Dental Herb Company, but some still are using Colgate. Make this a wake-up call for the remaining patients of mine and the general public still using Colgate Total, to stop using this toothpaste. Switch to safe, effective alternative toothpaste products.
Remember to look at the ingredients of your toothpaste and don’t use products with ingredients that have long chemical names or are known to be poisonous. Call or write me if you need help finding safer options or have concerns and questions.
Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Lawrence