Triclosan, a chemical used in Colgate Total toothpaste has been related to increased risk of cancer and growth deficiencies in studies conducted on animals. Triclosan is an important part of the Colgate Total toothpaste and is used to prevent gum diseases. However the company says that triclosan is not harmful for humans and has been approved by the FDA in 1997, Washington Times and other websites reported.
Questions are being raised now about the approval by the FDA and recently released toxicology documents show that Colgate used company backed research to convince the FDA that the chemical was not harmful. The documents were released recently under the Freedom Of Information Act and show that the FDA had expressed concerns about its safety.
However studies have revealed Triclosan causes premature births and underdeveloped bones in animals. The chemical which is used to reduce bacterial contaminations also caused reduced fertility in mice. Colgate however, has dismissed these results and says that Triclosan is only harmful to animals and not to humans. Colgate says they have confirmed its safety through clinical trials of 19000 people and that there has not been any reports of damage in all the years their product has been on the market.
But the effect of the chemical on animals has created concern among authorities who are now reviewing the dangers of Triclosan. It has also been banned in Minnesota and companies like Johnson an Johnson and Avon have announced to remove the chemical from their products.