We use toothpaste daily, sometimes once or mostly twice a day.
For good oral health, brushing is the key.
However, if you use toothpaste like Colgate Total containing Triclosan, you are making a huge mistake.
In 2016, the use of Triclosan in soaps was banned by the U.S.A. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) but Colgate continue to use this harmful compound in their toothpaste, Colgate Total.
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent found mainly in soaps, mouthwash, hand sanitizers, deodorants, and, yes, in toothpaste as well.
As per the manufacturers that use Triclosan in their toothpaste says, “it reduces gum infections, gingivitis, and improve oral health.”
But studies have shown that instead of providing health benefits to the consumers, it affects health and poses potential risks to humans.
It is a serious issue that needs to be addressed on priority because 75% of the U.S. population is exposed to the Triclosan via various consumer products and personal care products.
Researchers found that the Triclosan enters the human body through the inline of the mouth and gets accumulated in human milk and urine at higher concentrations (nM to μM concentrations).
In a nutshell, Triclosan is an endocrine-disrupting chemical. We discuss the adverse effects of Triclosan presence in the human body in this article.
7 Adverse Health Impacts of a Toothpaste Containing Triclosan
Note that the health impacts listed below are the studies conducted on animals and human cells in the lab.
Disclaimer: The opinions and facts presented in this article are the results of studies submitted to the National Center for Biotechnology Information and Oxford Academic (The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism) that aims at finding the impact of Triclosan on humans, mice, and rats.
They are proven, and similar studies are going on to figure out more health impacts.
Now without any further ado, let’s start.
#1 – Weakening of Bones
Triclosan can increase the prevalence of Osteoporosis (a metabolic bone disease) and decrease bone mineral density (BMD).
Bone mineral density or BMD is the measure of bone health and strength.
Studies found that higher concentrations of Triclosan in urine samples led to lower BMD and higher risks of fragility fractures in U.S. women, especially postmenopausal women.
Fracture risks depend upon age and is higher in old womens. Continuous consumption of Triclosan (TCS) can break bones easily and increase the risk of fracture during accidents.
#2 – Impact on Growth Hormones (T3 & T4)
As said earlier, Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor in multiple species, including humans.
Studies have demonstrated a decrease in thyroxine (T4) levels in females.
Urinary TCS concentration is associated with an elevation in T3 levels in adolescents ages.
T3 & T4 is an essential hormone for digestion, brain development, and maintenance of bones.
#3 – Increases Time to Pregnancy
Triclosan is responsible for reproductive and developmental defects in humans.
Increased concentrations (above 248 nM) of Triclosan in urine can increase the time to pregnancy and decrease fecundity.
Hence we suggest avoiding using Triclosan-based consumer products like toothpaste, soaps, and deodorants, etc.
#4 – Impact on Newborn Babies
As explained in the previous section, TCS (Triclosan) exhibits endocrine-disrupting effects in mothers.
This adversely affects newborn head circumference, weight, and length, irrespective of the gender of the baby.
Also, a higher concentration of Triclosan in urine leads to reduced BMI (Body Mass Index), which is the measure of body fat based on height and weight.
#5 – Invitation to Allergies and Asthma
Rapid exposure to Triclosan leads to several allergies and Asthma.
Studies were carried out to find the effect of Triclosan on mast cells which then associated TCS with allergic diseases.
In the under 18 age group, higher urinary TCS concentrations were correlated with increased allergies diagnoses.
The heavy concentration of Triclosan in urine is the invitation to Asthma.
#6 – Decreases Immune Power
Triclosan causes immunosuppression of natural killer cells (part of our immune system) by inhibiting their lytic function.
Few studies demonstrated diminishing of mast cells degranulation stimulated multivalent antigen (Ag).
Triclosan produces an enhanced effect on mast cell degranulation upon calcium ionophore stimulation, leading to the postulation that the antimicrobial was inhibiting mast cell degranulation via a target after the influx of calcium across the Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channel.
#7 – Accelerates Cancer Development
Yes, you heard it right. Triclosan is also associated with the development of cancer!
The correlation between increased Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Triclosan concentration in human urine samples indicated that TCS accelerates ROS production in humans.
However, few studies have shown that TCS may inhibit cancer development. So this impact is controversial.
But yet researches are going on to prove that TCS is involved in cancer development.
How to save yourself and others from these adverse health impacts by Triclosan
As mentioned earlier, the FDA has banned the use of Triclosan in many consumer products.
Most of the toothpaste makers have also stopped using Triclosan in their products.
But few popular products like Colgate Total still use Triclosan as one of the main ingredients.
In our opinion, you shouldn’t choose such Triclosan based product when there are many alternatives are present.
We suggest you carefully read the list of ingredients before buying toothpaste as well as soaps, hand sanitizers, deodorants, etc.
Toothpaste like Colgate Total still use Triclosan because during the ban the Andrea Fischer, FDA spokesman, said that toothpaste that contains Triclosan had been demonstrated to be effective at reducing plaque and gingivitis.
However, according to the studies, we cannot overlook the adverse effects of Triclosan on the human body.
Many manufacturers have stopped using this harmful compound in their products. So, you, as a consumer, have the choice.
We strictly suggest opt-in for the Triclosan-free products. Carefully reading the ingredients before shopping can save you from all the adverse effects listed above.
Though the FDA banned Triclosan from certain soaps yet this antimicrobial is still present in many consumer products.
According to us, it’s no doubt that Triclosan will be banned from all consumer products and personal care products sooner or later.
An increase in epidemiology studies examining the effects of Triclosan on the human body has been noticed recently.
So many researches are going on to demonstrate the adverse effects of Triclosan.
But until studies prove it to be completely harmful, and U.S. FDA bans its usage from almost all consumer products. It will help if you check the toothpaste ingredients and other similar personal care products before adding them to the cart.