Q.: I have seen ‘triclosan’ listed as an ingredient in the toothpaste I use. Is it a toxic substance? Jordan
KLAUS FERLOW REPLIES:
Triclosan is used in a wide range of cleaning and personal care products. It is even used in some processed foods and children’s toys. It is essentially an anti-bacterial, -viral and -fungal agent.
Always read the ingredients on whatever products you use and if they are unpronounceable there is a good chance they are harmful chemicals.However, studies at various academic institutions including the Institute of Odontology in Sweden; Virginia Tech University in America; and the University of Victoria in Canada have shown that triclosan may promote the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria; allergy and asthma in children; and an imbalance in thyroid hormones. Scary when you consider there are those who brush and floss their teeth up to three times a day! Two groups of people are at particular risk: young children and those who suffer from chemical sensitivity as a result of exposure to environmental and household chemicals.
Now, go out and buy yourself a herbal toothpaste!