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Chemical in Colgate Total Possible Hormone Disrupter and Carcinogenic

Colgate Total Toothpaste continues to be in the news, this time in Consumer NZ, which is warning New Zealanders that it contains triclosan, which not only is linked to changes in hormone function, liver and kidney damage, but is suspected to also be carcinogenic. Triclosan is added to a number of cosmetic products including shampoos and soaps.

If you’re wondering if it’s time to dump your toothpaste or at the very least switching to a safer alternative, my answer is yes, for a number of reasons. First, despite documented health risks, and an FDA ban for use in antibacterial soap, you may still find triclosan in your toothpaste, especially those aimed at children. And, second, research finds triclosan in toothpaste may alter your gut microbiome and slowly increase the number of potentially antibiotic resistant bacteria in your intestines.

Unfortunately, triclosan is in more than just toothpaste and hand soap. You’ll also find it in laundry detergents and softeners, trash bags, hair conditioners, acne treatment products, dishwashing products and even implanted medical devices. When you consider that of the 13,000 chemicals used in cosmetics, only 10 percent have been safety tested, you can understand why I advise always reading labels and avoiding products with triclosan — and other dangerous chemicals — in them.

It’s also critical to track adverse events as they relate to any chemical or product you use, household or cosmetic. Report any adverse reaction you or your family experiences to the FDA on their phone line (800-FDA-1088), online or their paper reporting form. The cosmetic industry is not interested in moving toward tighter regulations, which leaves you in charge of regulating what you and your family put on your skin.
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