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A chemical recently banned from hand soap by the Food and Drug Administration may still be in your toothpaste.

Last month, the FDA banned the antibacterial chemical triclosan from soaps after findings that suggest long-term exposure could “pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.” But the chemical may still be used in many other products including makeup, furniture, toys, pesticides – and best-selling Colgate Total toothpaste.

 Health concerns about triclosan are not new, in 2014 a study released by the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences said it found that long-term exposure led to liver cancer in mice. In fact, many non-profit organizations including the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) have called for a complete ban of triclosan, not just in hands soaps.

A more recent study completed by Superfund Research Program scientists from the University of California (UC) San Diego and UC Davis also found that long-term exposure to triclosan promotes the growth of liver tumors in lab mice, and it was found in 97 percent of breast milk samples from lactating women and in urine of nearly 75 percent of people tested.

 

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