Product liability issues can come in all shapes and sizes, but one of the most common causes for an item to be listed as a defective product is that it contains unsafe chemicals or ingredients. The problem is notorious in the drug manufacturing industry, and each year hundreds of prescription medications are recalled after previously unknown side effects emerge. But over-the-counter medications and other consumer products are also susceptible to product recalls.
Colgate Total toothpaste is the latest consumer product facing scrutiny after officials announced several weeks ago that the product contains a chemical linked to the development of cancer in animals.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports the antibacterial chemical triclosan is used in Colgate Total toothpaste as one of many ingredients included to combat gingivitis and tooth decay. However, some studies have linked triclosan to cancer cell growth and malformations in the bones of fetal rats and mice. Researchers believe the chemical may have an effect on the endocrine system, causing problems with hormonal balances.
Colgate maintains that the product is safe, citing its Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Many scientists say triclosan’s impact on the human body is difficult to isolate and the link to cancer in humans is untested. Though the product was approved by the FDA in 1997, three scientists who reviewed Colgate’s toxicology studies on triclosan at Bloomberg’s request are questioning the approval, saying the FDA may have relied too heavily on company-backed science to establish product safety.
Investigations into the link between triclosan and cancer remain ongoing and there are no plans to recall Colgate Total toothpaste.
At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, our Norfolk personal injury attorneys have helped numerous clients get back on their feet after suffering injuries or illnesses due to product liability and safety issues. If you have questions about your rights, call us at (800) 208-CASH to learn more about how we can help.