The antibacterial chemical triclosan has been linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals, a Bloomberg News investigation found. Regulators are reviewing whether it is safe to put this chemical in soap, cutting boards and toys. Consumer companies are phasing it out. In May, Minnesota voted to ban this chemical in many products.
Did you know that millions of Americans are putting this chemical in their mouths every day to fight gum disease by way of Colgate-Palmolive Co.’s Total? If this product is considered unsafe for our hands, why is it okay to put in our mouths?
Colgate says that Total is totally safe, and that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the product in 1997 as an over-the-counter drug. However, it has just been revealed by a Freedom of Information Act request from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that the toxicology reports used to justify the chemical’s use were compiled by scientists affiliated with the company, Bloomberg News reported.
The FDA withheld from view the 35-page application from Colgate for its Total application, which summarized toxicology studies on triclosan. The FDA released these pages earlier this year in response to a lawsuit over a Freedom of Information Act request. The FDA posted the pages on its website following inquiries from Bloomberg News.
A closer look at the application process for its approval reveals that some of the scientific findings that Colgate put forward in order to establish the safety of triclosan in toothpaste weren’t black and white nor where they available to the public until this year, 17 years after gaining FDA approval and should have raised red flags about triclosan’s safety.
Three scientists who reviewed the pages at Bloomberg News’s request are raising valid questions regarding the FDA’s approval process. This government agency relies on company-backed studies to show that products are safe and effective. Did the FDA perform adequate due diligence in approving Total seventeen years ago? Should its approval remain considering new research? Shouldn’t an independent third-party researcher determine the safety and effectiveness of a given product?
In 2010, triclosan was linked to reduced fertility in mice and in 2013, linked to lowered sperm production in rats, as reported in the Daily Mail. In 2003, a study revealed that triclosan was present in the urine of 75 percent of 2,517 tested Americans, also reported by the Daily Mail.
Within the 35 pages of the application were studies showing fetal bone malformations in mice and rats. Colgate said the findings weren’t relevant. With what we know in today’s science, these malformations look more like a signal that triclosan is disrupting the endocrine system and throwing off hormonal functioning, according to the three scientists.
The FDA actually had concerns that triclosan could increase the risk of cancer, but Colgate scientists said not to worry, that the risk only applied to those who consumed or absorbed the chemical in large doses, the Daily Mail reported.
Colgate-Palmolive said that company officials stand by their product and point out that most of the science that’s shows concerns about the chemical was borne from animal studies, not humans. Colgate also said they are not planning to reformulate the toothpaste.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a government agency whose purpose is to protect the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness and security of food, drugs and cosmetics. If the agency has knowledge or even a doubt of a potential danger in products that are on the shelves across our nation, they have a duty to report this information to the public.
In addition, manufacturers and distributors of goods must be held responsible when their products endanger consumers. Product liability claims force the makers and sellers of goods to consider consumer safety in everything they do. Product liability claims have forced countless companies to make better and safer products, thereby protecting future consumers from injury or death.
On its website, the NRDC tells consumers to “urge the FDA to pull products containing triclosan…from store shelves in order to protect public health.”
We have learned that triclosan is also found in the following products:
- Dial® Liquid Soap
- Softsoap® Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap
- Tea Tree Therapy™ Liquid Soap
- Provon® Soap
- Clearasil® Daily Face Wash
- Dermatologica® Skin Purifying Wipes
- Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser
- DermaKleen™ Antibacterial Lotion Soap
- Naturade Aloe Vera 80® Antibacterial Soap
- CVS Antibacterial Soap
- pHisoderm Antibacterial Skin Cleanser
- Colgate Total®; Breeze™ Triclosan Mouthwash
- Reach® Antibacterial Toothbrush
- Janina Diamond Whitening Toothpaste
- Supre® Café Bronzer™
- TotalSkinCare Makeup Kit
- Garden Botanika® Powder Foundation
- Mavala Lip Base
- Jason Natural Cosmetics
- Blemish Cover Stick
- Movate® Skin Litening Cream HQ
- Paul Mitchell Detangler Comb
- Revlon ColorStay LipSHINE Lipcolor Plus Gloss
- Old Spice High Endurance Stick Deodorant
- Right Guard Sport Deodorant
- Queen Helene® Tea Trea Oil Deodorant and Aloe Deodorant
- Nature De France Le Stick Natural Stick Deodorant
- DeCleor Deodorant Stick
- Epoch® Deodorant with Citrisomes
- X Air Maximum Strength Deodorant
Other Personal Care Products:
- Gillette® Complete Skin Care MultiGel Aerosol Shave Gel
- Murad Acne Complex® Kit®
- Diabet-x™ Cream
- T.Taio™ sponges and wipes
- Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel
- SyDERMA® Skin Protectant plus First Aid Antiseptic
- First Aid Medicated Spray; Nexcare™ First Aid
- Skin Crack Care
- First Aid/Burn Cream
- HealWell® Night Splint
- 11-1X1: Universal Cervical Collar with Microban
- Farberware® Microban Steakknife Set and Cutting Boards
- Franklin Machine Products FMP Ice Cream Scoop SZ 20 Microban
- Hobart Semi-Automatic Slicer
- Chix® Food Service Wipes with Microban
- Compact Web Foot® Wet Mop Heads
- Fellowes Cordless Microban Keyboard and Microban Mouse Pad
- Merrell Shoes
- Sabatier Chef’s Apron
- Dickies Socks
- Fruit of the Loom Socks
- Biofresh® Socks
- Playskool® :
- Stack ‘n Scoop Whale
- Rockin’ Radio
- Sounds Around Driver
- Roll ‘n’ Rattle Ball
- Animal Sounds Phone
- Busy Beads Pal
- Pop ‘n’ Spin Top
- Lights ‘n’ Surprise Laptop
- Bionare® Cool Mist Humidifier
- Microban® All Weather Reinforced Hose
- Thomasville® Furniture
- Deciguard AB Ear Plugs
- Bauer® 5000 Helmet
- Aquatic Whirlpools
- Miller Paint Interior Paint
- QVC® Collapsible 40-Can Cooler
- Holmes Foot Buddy™ Foot Warmer
- Blue Mountain Wall Coverings
- California Paints®
- EHC AMRail Escalator Handrails
- Dupont™ Air Filters
- Durelle™ Carpet Cushions
- Advanta One Laminate Floors
- San Luis Blankets
- J Cloth® towels
- JERMEX mops
An FDA ruling in 2016 will determine whether increased regulation is on the way.
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