Triclosan and Colgate Toothpaste

In April 2017 I posted a review on Spar Germex Handwash (click here for the review) and explained why I thought it was a great product as it was Triclosan-free. For a compact description on Triclosan you can read the following summary from an article by Dr. Mercola or you can refer back to my Spar Germex Handwash review for a lot more information:

Story at-a-glance By Dr. Mercola

  • Triclosan, a high production volume ingredient used as a bactericide in personal care products such as toothpaste and deodorant, has been linked to heart disease and heart failure in a new study
  • After mice were exposed to one dose of triclosan, heart muscle function was reduced by 25 percent, and grip strength was reduced by 18 percent
  • Researchers also exposed individual human muscle cells (from heart and skeletal muscles) to a triclosan dose similar to everyday-life exposure, and this, too, disrupted muscle function and caused both heart and skeletal muscles to fail
  • Triclosan has also been linked to disruption of hormone function
  • Triclosan is listed on product ingredient labels, so you can easily check to see if it is there before deciding on a purchase

Triclosan has been banned by the FDA (The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA) is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services) since the end of 2016. Since then Clicks, Johnson & Johnson, Pick n Pay and Woolworths no longer use Triclosan or Triclocarbon in their products. Dischem is phasing out its brand of products containing this chemical, but Shoprite’s Ritebrand Hygiene Soap still contains the chemical.

The most shocking of all is that Colgate Total 12 toothpaste still contains a high amount of Triclosan and they are refusing to discontinue this product or to change the contents!

Triclosan and Colgate

This is what they have very clearly stated on their website:

Colgate Total toothpaste contains a unique formula that fights today’s most common oral health problems, including cavities, plaque, tartar buildup, gum problems, and bad breath. The Colgate Total formula is so revolutionary it’s even unique. Its active ingredient is Triclosan, which is used to help reduce plaque and gum problems. The copolymer enables Triclosan to continue working in the mouth for up to 12 hours. Without the copolymer, Triclosan would be rapidly lost from teeth and gums, reducing its clinical effect. Colgate Total is the ONLY toothpaste with this unique Triclosan/copolymer system. It also contains fluoride for protection against cavities, is effective in reducing tartar, and in providing long-lasting fresh breath protection.

They proudly say the above and even have a page about how Triclosan is safe in toothpaste!! 

Colgate and Triclosan

I did a bit of research and came across the following very well written article by Dr. Mark Burhenne (click here to read about Dr B. as he calls himself):

I won’t use triclosan or recommend it. Its potential upside in improving oral health is at best, minimal. At worst, triclosan could alter hormone functioning and upset the delicate balance of bacteria in your mouth that keep it healthy.

Colgate refuses to remove triclosan from their toothpaste, saying it is “better than other toothpastes in reducing the germs that can cause gum disease” and therefore, critical to public health.

Triclosan and Oral Health

If “clean” is good, then “cleaner” must be better, right? No, and that’s due to the delicate balance of flora in the mouth.

Your mouth contains an ecosystem of more than 700 species of “good” and “bad” bacteria that live in a delicate balance.

Throw in a bacteria “nuke” like triclosan, and you disrupt this delicate balance through an indiscriminate kill of both good and bad bacteria.

This disruption and imbalance of the flora in your mouth can cause bad breath and dry mouth, as well as impact your body’s natural ability to build resistance to disease and infection.

Colgate maintains that these risks are worth it, citing more than 80 clinical studies with 19,000 people that prove that triclosan in Colgate Total is safe.

The problem is that these studies were company-backed, not bipartisan (of or involving the agreement or cooperation of two political parties that usually oppose each other’s policies), and did not take into account the long-term effects of all this triclosan exposure.

You can read more at Ask the Dentist:

I have decided to not use any products containing Triclosan to rather be on the safe side, and to therefore never have to look back and regret the fact that I did not take the warnings seriously for my own health and that of my family.

What have you decided?

Views: 29

2 thoughts on “Triclosan and Colgate Toothpaste

  • July 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    This is very informative! I wish we didn’t have to worry about ingredients so much, but I think it’s always wise to avoid a product that has an ingredient proven to be harmful. As you said, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

    • July 10, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Camie! Yes, it’s terrible that we have to always check everything.


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