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Colgate Rebuts Charge about Ingredient

Nov 20, 2014

By Dean George

Rumors persist that an ingredient found in Colgate Total® toothpaste poses a cancer risk, but the internationally known toothpaste manufacturer is fighting back.


Earlier this week a leading British newspaper, The Telegraph, reported that an antibacterial chemical used in Colgate Total®  toothpaste was found to cause cancer in mice. Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical often used in household products like shampoos, liquid hand soaps and other household cleaning items.

The Telegraph reported new research claims that long term exposure to triclosan may promote liver cancer. In the study co-led by a University of California, San Diego School of Medicine professor, mice were exposed to triclosan for six months, or the equivalent of 18 human years.

The same research team also reported though, that the dose used on the affected mice was considerably higher than the average amount humans might ingest from Colgate Total® toothpaste.

The claim that triclosan is harmful has been directly contested by Dr. Patricia Verduin, Head of Colgate-Palmolive Research & Development.  In an article published on the Fox News website, Verduin says the allegations are not based on facts or science.

“Recent claims that triclosan in Colgate Total® can lead to cancer are absolutely untrue,” she wrote.  “Exhaustive testing has shown not only that Colgate Total® provides important health benefits, but also that it is safe.”


The Fox News article reported that Colgate Total® has been evaluated in 90 clinical studies involving 20,000 people, making it one of the most tested and reviewed toothpaste products worldwide. Colgate also continues to submit annual reports to the FDA with further safety findings.

An independent review conducted by the Cochrane Oral Health Group found that the triclosan formula used in Colgate Total® produced a 41% reduction in plaque severity, a 22% reduction in plaque and gingivitis, and a 48% reduction in gum bleeding, Verduin wrote.

The FDA reviewed triclosan in 1997 and reported that it was effective in gingivitis prevention and is not known to be hazardous to humans. But on its website the FDA says several scientific studies have come out since their last studies that merit further review.

Colgate Total® is the only toothpaste approved by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA), and is the only known toothpaste to provide both antibacterial protection and direct anti-inflammatory benefits.

Sources: telegraph.co.uk, foxnews.com, fda.gov, WebMD
Photo source: moneylife.in, mouthshut.com


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