Articulate, passionate and humorous, Dr. Holly Lucille breaks down the myths and misconceptions about health and health related topics.

Triclosan Hazard: Should You Change Your Toothpaste?

From the Show: Mindful Medicine
Summary: Triclosan is found in many of your home and personal care products. But studies have found this chemical is potentially hazardous.
Air Date: 8/27/14
Duration: 10
Host: Holly Lucille, ND, RN
Guest Bio: Laura Geer, PhD, MHS
kbarracloughDr. Geer is an Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at SUNY Downstate School of Public Health in Brooklyn, NY.

She received her Doctorate and Master's degrees in Environmental Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Geer's research focuses on environmental and occupational exposure assessment in the urban environment, with a specific emphasis on maternal and fetal exposures and associated birth outcomes.

Her research agenda includes exploration of social and cultural factors influencing behavior and exposure in urban populations of ethnic minorities and recent immigrants.

She has been responsible for the design, conduct, and management of exposure studies incorporating methods such as industrial hygiene sampling, use of biological markers, behavioral determinants of exposure, and epidemiologic investigation of exposure and associated health outcomes.
Triclosan Hazard: Should You Change Your Toothpaste?
Triclosan is an antibacterial and anti-fungal agent present in many of your cosmetics, soaps, household products, children's toys and bath products.

Recently, triclosan made controversial headlines. The chemical is found in a major toothpaste brand, and studies found it could cause some serious health issues.

What are the risks in using a toothpaste (or any product) with triclosan?

Triclosan was first approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997, but studies conducted on mice and rats have caused the FDA to further investigate its safety.

According to a 2009 study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), triclosan altered hormone levels in both male and female rats, which could later cause other health problems like reduced fertility and an increased cancer risk.

Why is triclosan added to toothpaste?

Triclosan is added to toothpaste specifically because it claims to fight against gum disease, prevent cavities and help get rid of unhealthy bacteria.

So, should you be changing your toothpaste and eliminating all of your products if they contain triclosan?

Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at SUNY Downstate School of Public Health, Dr. Laura Greer, joins Dr. Holly to discuss the health hazards of the chemical triclosan and if you should (or shouldn't) switch your toothpaste.