Popular Toothpaste may be Harmful to Consumers

toothpaste.jpgCould well-known products that wash your hands and clean your teeth pose a dangerous health risk to American consumers? Scientific evidence, recently reinserted into the public spotlight, indicate the answer is yes.

Triclosan is an antibacterial agent used in numerous consumer products, from soaps to toothpaste, household cleaning supplies to kitchen utensils. It was first used in hospitals as a surgical scrub in the 1970s and has been used in many products since then. A Centers for Disease Control study in 2008 found triclosan in 75 percent of participants over five years old.

But is Triclosan safe?

Numerous studies have shown that triclosan may cause cancer in animals, and the concern is that it poses the same dangers for those with long-term exposure to the chemical. A recent study warned pregnant mothers to avoid soaps containing triclosan. The FDA is now taking a second look at triclosan and the products that may lead to the death of consumers.

Many manufacturers have dropped the chemical from its products. But many consumer goods that contain triclosan remain popular today, including one well-known brand of toothpaste. The FDA gave approval to that toothpaste 17 years ago, but recently it has come to light that the federal regulators may have relied on studies and conclusions provided by the manufacturer's own scientists in approving the product.

Now, consumer groups are calling for major retailers to pull this toothpaste - and other products containing triclosan - from their shelves. They argue that potential life-threatening dangers of the chemical are too great to ignore by both manufacturers and sellers.

With all the questions surrounding the safety of triclosan and the consumer products that include it, the FDA's new inquiry is good news. But this issue highlights the perils consumers face from defective goods. Manufacturers and retailers alike may be held liable for deaths and serious injuries caused by dangerous products.

Those who feel they've suffered serious injuries from a defective product may want to consult attorneys who will pursue compensation from all responsible parties for the harm their products caused.


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