Earlier this month, triclosan made headlines when the Food and Drug Administration banned many antibacterial soaps for containing it. But the controversial chemical can still be found in your medicine cabinet, in everything from facial cleaners to your toothpaste. The latter is the latest triclosan-laden product to be put under the microscope because, according to The New York Times, only one U.S. brand contains the chemical—best-seller Colgate Total—and the FDA has been backing it up since the '90s.
This week, FDA spokesperson Andrea Fisher told the paper that toothpaste containing triclosan was "demonstrated to be effective at reducing plaque and gingivitis." Basically, the FDA says no way to the chemical in topical products, but it's acceptable in oral ones because back in 1997, before Colgate Total hit the market, the toxicology studies came up clear. "Based on scientific evidence, the balance of benefit and risk is favorable for these products," Fisher explained.
Moreover, Colgate-Palmolive spokesperson Thomas DiPiazza told the paper that Colgate Total had been through more-rigorous safety reviews that included "carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, eye and skin irritation, and short term and long term toxicity." While the whole controversy can seem a bit puzzling given the fact that the chemical was just banned from hand soap, this is definitely a topic to bring up at your next dentist visit.
Keep scrolling to shop our triclosan-free toothpaste pick from Tom's of Maine.
What are your thoughts on triclosan in your toothpaste? Tell us in the comments.