The link between toothpaste and the risk of cancer
A recent study has unveiled that using Triclosan (a common ingredient in whitening toothpastes and hand-soaps) can cause inflammation within the colon, potentially leading to colon cancer. These findings are based on a phase-1 study[1:1] – conducted on mice at the University of Amhurst, Massachussetts.
What is Triclosan?
Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It is used in the manufacturing of consumer products such as toothpaste, soaps, detergents, toys, and surgical cleaning fluids.
The Triclosan trial conducted on mice
In a study conducted at UMass Amherst[1:2], experimental mice were exposed to short-time treatment with triclosan at low doses. This was a control group of mice. The exposure led to low-grade colonic inflammation in the control group. Eventually, it led to the development of exaggerated colitis and colitis-linked colon cancer in the exposed mice.
Toxic effects at various dosages
So far, the research indicates that Triclosan can have toxic effects at high doses, but the health effects of lower concentrations on human exposure, remain unclear. In order to establish effects at different dosage levels, the UMass team fed mice with food containing different concentrations of triclosan for a period of three weeks.
The results of this trial demonstrated that the mice which were treated with the same concentration of triclosan as seen in human blood samples, displayed more systemic colon inflammation as compared to mice within the previous control group. In the non-control groups, the severity of colon inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) was also high, even at low exposure doses.
Tumor size increase & low survival rates
The same study showed that in a separate group of mice that had already developed colon cancer, exposure to triclosan decreased their survival rates and increased the tumor sizes.
The participating researchers have asserted that further studies are necessary in order to understand the complete impact of Triclosan on humans. It still needs to be determined whether colon cancer patients are at risk of further adverse effects due to Triclosan exposure in their daily food & hygiene habits.
Meanwhile, PLEASE READ the active ingredients of every consumer hygiene product that you use, such as toothpaste and hand-soaps in order to monitor and control personal exposure to Triclosan and other carcinogens. c
Also, please make sure that kids do not get exposed to toothpaste variants containing Triclosan, because children often have a habit of ‘eating’ toothpaste as opposed to adults. Till the time further information is available about the exact nature of Triclosan effects on humans, parents should refrain from exposing their children to Triclosan-laden toothpastes.