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Is It Safe to Use Toothpaste with Triclosan?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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Triclosan is a chemical commonly found in a range of hygiene products and preparations used around the house. It is generally considered safe for use, according to most dental care authorities and organizations responsible for monitoring products used inside the body. This doesn't necessarily mean there are no risks to using toothpaste with triclosan, however. In fact, some studies have produced evidence to suggest that triclosan is associated with the development of harmful byproducts, hormonal disruption, and cancer.

There are many chemicals that are commonly used in daily life and generally considered safe. Even when chemicals are considered safe, however, some may question whether there are dangers that have been overlooked — such is the case with triclosan. While it has been in use for decades, particularly for its antibacterial properties, some people question whether it is truly safe for people to put in their bodies while brushing their teeth. Among the people who may question this chemical are environmental and health experts, health enthusiasts, natural health practitioners, and lay people who are cautious about what they put into their bodies.

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Since triclosan has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, it is often included in a range of products, including dish liquid, hand soap, hand sanitizer, and deodorant. It is often used in the making of toys and kitchen utensils as well, and can be found in cosmetics and clothing. Many people encounter the chemical on a daily basis without being aware of its presence. A person may begin to question its safety when he considers buying a toothpaste with triclosan as an ingredient. Upon researching the subject, however, he is likely to find that the answer to his question is somewhat mixed.

Most health and dental care authorities assert that toothpaste with triclosan is safe, or at least not known or proven to cause health problems in human beings. They also acknowledge, however, that some studies have produced adverse effects in animals. For example, some studies suggest that this chemical can disrupt hormones in an animal's body. This does not necessarily mean the chemical will affect humans in the same way, but it does translate into concern for some people.

Other studies have also produced results that may make a person question his use of toothpaste with triclosan. For example, some research has determined that mixing this chemical with the chlorine found in tap water can produced chloroform, which has the potential to cause cancer. Some studies also implicate this chemical in allergy development.

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