Only the FDA would ban a toxic substance from soap…but continue to allow it in toothpaste.
That’s what it did with triclosan. It’s a chemical linked to cancer, thyroid problems, and hormone disruption in children.
The FDA explains its bizarre position by claiming triclosan prevents gum disease. But if something is too toxic to put on your skin, should you be putting it in your mouth?
I think you know the answer. And a new study provides strong evidence triclosan doesn’t belong in toothpaste.
An analysis by the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science and Technology journal finds that the chemical accumulates to dangerous levels on toothbrushes.
Scientists tested 22 best-selling manual toothbrushes with six toothpastes that contain triclosan. Brands with the chemical are often labeled “antibacterial.”1
For three months they mechanically simulated two-minute, twice-a-day brushing.
Afterward, they tested the toothbrushes for triclosan. Over a third of them had heavy build-ups of triclosan. They contained up to 12-½ times of the amount of the chemical normally in a single brushing.
Triclosan accumulated in the nylon bristles and in the elastomer or soft parts of the toothbrush. Brushes with “polishing cups” or cheek/tongue cleaners absorbed the most triclosan.2
Switching Toothpastes Doesn’t End the Problem
The researchers found that switching to a non-triclosan toothpaste can actually make the problem worse. When the researches switched to triclosan-free brands, the accumulated triclosan was released from the bristles with each brushing. This “exposes the user to triclosan at unregulated doses,” the researchers said.3
There is only one sure-fire way to avoid the danger: Throw out your old toothbrush, buy a new one, and start using toothpastes that don’t contain triclosan.
And while you’re at it, take a look at your mouthwash ingredients—many of them contain triclosan.
3 Dangerous Toothpaste Additives
Besides triclosan, stay away from these other harmful chemicals found in toothpastes:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): It is linked to cancer and is used to kill insects.4
- Fluoride: It is tied to bone and thyroid problems.5
- Diethanolamine (DEA): It is a hormone disrupter and is linked to liver and kidney cancers.
Your best bet is use brands that are all-natural and chemical-free. Two have received top scores from the Environmental Working Group, an independent consumer organization. They are Dr. Brite and Arganat.