, Found in Colgate Total
chemical used in Colgate Total called Triclosan is found to cause cancer
(carcinogenic) and miscarriage, as well as neurological
damage in mice. Further studies found that, in animals, triclosan can alter the functioning of the liver, kidney, thymus
gland, thyroid, and causes impaired estrogenic or androgenic activity. Colgate rejected the supposed risks, and claims Colgate Total
contains only 0.3% triclosan, thus it is safe.
Total was launched in 1992, and has been used in nearly 100 countries worldwide. It was approved by US Food and Drug
Administration in 1997. But since 2010 it is withdrawn from the market in Europe,
unlike in the United States where the findings are declared
controversial by the authorities, making the carcinogenic chemical freely produced, sold and used by many
is a synthetic chemical manufactured and used for over 30 years as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-scale and preservatives by many industries. It is included in the Colgate Total to protect the gums against diseases, according to the manufacturer. But some Canadian
scientists fear that, as the use of triclosan persists, in
addition to cancer and organ damage, bacteria can develop
resistance to it, pass their resistance to other bacteria
and then develop resistance to
Triclosan is still used legally in the USA, you may ask?
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says
that triclosan is included in many
products to prevent or reduce bacterial
contamination. The agency declares that that the growth of
cancer cells in animals due to triclosan does not necessary produce the same results in
numerous scientific studies have proven that there is no safety and harmlessness of this substance for the environment and human beings.
Research has shown triclosan can disrupt thyroid function in humans. In addition, it
degrades into toxic, carcinogenic, and persistent
bioaccumulative compounds in human and animal organism.
Containing Triclosan In Addition to Colgate Total
serious concern for the environment and health, and Colgate Total
is not the only product commonly used at home that contains it. In fact, in some places, the chemical is
found in rivers and lakes, given wastewater treatment systems partially remove
it. Some other products that may contain triclosan include:
Oral care: toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrush handles
Soap, lotion, shaving cream, deodorant
clean up towels
Plastic equipment: kitchen
utensils, cutting boards, garbage bags,
bin, shower curtains, air filters.
Triclosan a Danger for the US Population?
can absorb triclosan by the skin, mouth and intestines or inhalation.
Triclosan can migrate from a plastic
surface to food. When penetrating the skin, the chemical is
suspected of interfering with the hormone system
causing endocrine disruption. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention(CDC) conducted a
study to assess
exposure to triclosan in the U.S. general population from the 2003–2004, triclosan
found in the urine of nearly 75% of the samples
collected from 2,517 participants aged 6 years or
Names for Triclosan
using triclosan without a
legal recommendation from the authorities to ban its use can be difficult. It is sometimes
identified by different chemical or trade names, which vary from one manufacturer/industry to another. Some of
the trade names used include: Cloxifenolum, Irgasan, Lexol 300 Aquasept, Gamophen, TCL, and others.
Triclosan a Danger for the Environment?
introduced into the environment, triclosan chemically reacts and
creates dioxins, bioaccumulative and toxic substances. In
fact, the European Union (EU) has classified triclosan as irritating to skin and eyes,
and describes it as very toxic to
aquatic organisms, given the long-term harmful effects it can have on the aquatic
ecosystems. Canada did the same, classifying triclosan as inherently and persistently toxic
to aquatic organisms.
(1) Calafat, A., «Urinary Concentrations of Triclosan in the U.S. Population: 2003-2004», Environmental Health
Perspectives 116, no. 3 (mars 2008):
(2) Gee, RH et al.,
«Oestrogenic and androgenic activity of triclosan in breast cancer
cells», Journal of
Applied Toxicology 28, no. 1 (janvier 2008):
Calafat, A., «Urinary Concentrations of Triclosan in the U.S. Population: 2003-2004».
européenne, Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation,
Annex VI, Table 3.2 (Sep 2009), Reg.
Canada, « List of substances on the DSL that are Persistent and Inherently Toxic to the
Environment, » CEPA Environmental Registry,http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/eng/subs_list/DSL20/DSLsearch.cfm?critSearch=PI
(see CAS #3380-34-5).