BOSTON (CBS) – Could your toothpaste be hurting you?

Researchers at UMass Amherst have found that a germ-fighting ingredient called triclosan, found in more than 2,000 household products, toothpastes, hand soaps, toys, and cosmetics, may be linked to colon cancer.

Researchers studied mice and found that low-doses of the compound can change the population of bacteria in the gut, trigger inflammation in the colon and promote the development of colitis and colon cancer.

Scientists say further studies on humans are urgently needed to further understand the potentially harmful effects of triclosan on the digestive system.

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