Danger Lurking in Your Toothpaste?

In early September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was banning an antibacterial chemical—triclosan—as it is used in soap, but still allowing it to remain in one product: toothpaste. This has left many consumers completely baffled; how can a product be so harmful that we can not have it on our hands, but it can be placed on our gums and, ultimately, get into our bloodstreams?

There is only one toothpaste product that uses triclosan: Colgate Total, as made by Colgate-Palmolive. While the company has pointed out that the product underwent rigorous safety testing back in 1997 to ensure that it was safe for consumers, others are remarking that any product which contains a toxic chemical like this in it and which has not been tested in over 25 years needs to be reassessed, at the very least, to determine its carcinogenicity, eye and skin irritation, and reproductive and developmental toxicity, amongst other concerns. Researchers were not looking at all the same variables 25 years ago as they are today.

Pros and Cons?

The FDA claims that it has allowed triclosan to remain in the toothpaste because it is especially effective at reducing gingivitis and plaque. In fact, independent review results indicate that toothpastes with both fluoride and triclosan far outperform those made only using fluoride on many

levels; by reducing plaque severity, gum inflammation and bleeding, and the overall number of cavities. However, experts have long been concerned that not only can regular exposure to germ fighters like triclosan lead to new strains of resistant bacteria, but triclosan can specifically disrupt the reproductive system, hormone levels, and metabolism, promoting drug-resistant infections.

A History of Toxic Exposure

It is no surprise to most consumers that we are exposed to toxins in our everyday products; but what might be surprising is just how easy it is for these chemicals to end in products without first being properly tested and how long it can take for the government agencies in charge of making sure they are safe to finally test and pull them if they are not. Fortunately, today we know about the health risks that products once widely used—like asbestos—can carry, but meanwhile, thousands of people now suffer or have passed away from mesothelioma, decades after asbestos was prevalently used in many products and industries.

This is why, if and when toxic products cause debilitating illness or cancer in people, bringing a personal injury claim against those responsible sometimes makes sense. This can sometimes be the wake-up call that others need in order to ensure that they are not regularly exposed to dangerous substances.

Personal Injury Attorneys

Personal injuries do not only happen in association with car accidents, but as a result of negligently-produced products, as well. The attorneys at Harrell & Nowak have helped many victims throughout Louisiana obtain financial compensation for their injuries, regardless of the cause. Our lawyers will work to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair recovery. Contact us for a free consultation.