A Banned Chemical May Lurk in Your Toothpaste

Colgate Total is the only toothpaste in the US to contain triclosan, which the FDA has banned in soap. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Colgate Total is the only toothpaste in the US to contain triclosan, which the FDA has banned in soap. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff |

(Newser) – The FDA last week banned the use of a chemical from soap, but not from the nation’s top-selling toothpaste. Why? The New York Times reports it was because Colgate-Palmolive convinced the FDA that the benefits of triclosan are greater than the risks. Toothpaste containing the chemical “demonstrated to be effective at reducing plaque and gingivitis,” an FDA spokeswoman said. The decision came after the agency announced that there was not enough evidence to prove that antibacterial soap containing triclosan was any better “at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water.” Worse, long-term use of the soap, the agency said in a statement, “has raised the question of potential negative effects on your health.”

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