Typical toothpaste warning (label top left): Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact the Poison Control Center immediately.
Typical mouthwash caution: In case of accidental ingestion, seek professional assistance or contact a poison control center immediately. Do not use in children under six years of age. Supervise children over six.
When a warning is on a product it does mean it is and can be fatal because both children and adults have died. Warnings labels are on products for a reason and it is extremely important to read them before making a purchase.
I know someone who contacted a Poison Control Center just to find out what the response would be when he told them that his child ate a fully loaded toothbrush of a common store-bought toothpaste. Their response to him was very urgent and he was instructed to bring the child to the hospital emergency room immediately! He told me he was shocked by their urgent response. I do NOT recommend calling Poison Control to find out for yourself, unless it has actually occurred, because this agency is available to assist those who are in a real emergency condition.
I have also noticed that some toothpaste warning labels are ONLY on the BOX of common store-bought toothpastes!
Look at the label before you buy!
If you feel that you’ve already heard enough to make you reconsider a common store-bought toothpaste check out Thieves Toothpaste (label to the right), it’s my favorite ‘edible’ toothpaste, it performs like no other and I highly recommend trying it to see for yourself.
Toxic Ingredient List: Toothpaste and Mouthwash
In the case of oral care products, the most toxic ingredients are:
- Alcohol, SD Alcohol
- Artificial flavoring
- D&C Yellow #10
- FD&C Green #3
- FD&C Blue #1
- FD&C Yellow #5
- Dispersants (unnatural)
- - Poloxmer 403
- - Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
- - Synthetic Glycerine
- Pentasodium triphosphate
- - Benzoic Acid
- - Polysorbate 80
- Propylene glycol
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- Sodium monofluorophosphate
- Sucralose® (Splenda®)
- Tetrasodium pyrophosphate
- Titanium dioxide
Triclosan is in:
- Dentyl mouthwash
- Colgate Total fresh stripe
- Colgate Total
- Sensodyne Total Care
- Tesco own brand toothpaste
- Mentadent P
- and many other oral care products, as well as, soaps (dish and body) and in hand-care products
Researchers have discovered that triclosan, a chemical in many products, can react with chlorinated water to produce chloroform gas. If inhaled in large enough quantities, chloroform can cause depression, liver problems and, in some cases, cancer.
Giles Watson, a toxicology expert at the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), warned that the long-term effects of exposure to chloroform were still unknown and advised consumers to check the bottles before buying products.
“These products produce low levels of chloroform, but that adds up over time. The amount of gas formed is very low but I think the key thing is that we just don’t know what the effects are. However, manufacturers do have to list triclosan on their ingredients, so if consumers are worried the best advice is to avoid products with the chemical.”
Researchers in the US found that the chlorine added to water in Britain reacted with triclosan to produce chloroform-gas. They found that it was possible for the chloroform produced when soap containing the chemical mixes with chlorinated water to be absorbed through the skin or inhaled.
Professor Peter Vikesland, of Virginia Tech University, who carried out the research, said: “This is the first work that we know of that suggests that consumer products, such as antimicrobial soap, can produce significant quantities of chloroform.” He has called for governments around the world to regulate the chemical more closely.
The reported levels of chloroform formation were reached only after two hours of triclosan and chlorinated water interaction. The chlorine levels in household tap water are generally much lower than the levels used in the experiments.
Exposure to low levels of chloroform does not cause cancer. While high doses of chloroform have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that chloroform is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans unless exposure levels are high enough to first cause other toxic effects.
Antibacterial soaps and body washes, and toothpastes are considered over-the-counter drugs. If an over-the-counter drug contains triclosan, it will be listed as an ingredient on the label, in the Drug Facts box. If a cosmetic contains triclosan, it will be included in the ingredient list on the product label.
Triclosan is not currently known to be hazardous to humans. But several scientific studies have come out since the last time FDA reviewed this ingredient that merit further review.
Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation. However, data showing effects in animals don’t always predict effects in humans. Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
In light of these studies, FDA is engaged in an ongoing scientific and regulatory review of this ingredient. FDA does not have sufficient safety evidence to recommend changing consumer use of products that contain triclosan at this time.
I personally feel that the FDA has not updated their consumer information page in a very long time. It does not come close to reaching my personal standards of useable and timely information as there are far more studies proving that triclosan is actually quite detrimental to human health. The FDA consumers update page also states, “Triclosan is not known to be hazardous to humans.” And, “Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation… In light of these studies, FDA is engaged in an ongoing scientific and regulatory review of this ingredient.” I find these statements to either be quite old, or on the side of large corporations. Either way, I am not impressed.
Furthermore, a 2010 study by University of Minnesota researchers analyzed two sediment cores and found that over the last 30 years the levels of the four dioxins derived from triclosan have increased by 200 to 300 percent. However, the same samples also showed that levels of all other dioxins have decreased by 73 to 90 percent. This decrease is consistent with numerous studies that show similar declines of dioxins in all media over the past 20 to 30 years.
The Dioxin / Triclosan study states:
These results are fully consistent with the phototransformation of triclosan and its chlorinated derivatives that form during wastewater chlorine disinfection as the source of 2,8-DCDD, 2,3,7-TriCDD, 1,2,8-TriCDD, and 1,2,3,8-TCDD in this aquatic environment. As the levels of triclosan-derived dioxins increased over time and the total level of chlorinated dioxins decreased, the contribution of triclosan-derived dioxins to the total dioxin pool increased to as high as 31% by mass in recent years, indicating that their contribution to total dioxin toxicity may need consideration.
Related post: Thieves ‘edible’ fluoride-free triclosan-free Toothpaste
Related post: Where is the ‘Dirtiest’ place on the Body?
Fluoride’s ability to damage the brain is one of the most active areas of fluoride research today. In the past three decades, over 100 studies have found that fluoride exposure can damage the brain. This research includes:
- Over 40 animal studies showing that prolonged exposure to varying levels of fluoride can damage the brain, particularly when coupled with an iodine deficiency, or aluminum excess
- 36 human studies linking moderately high fluoride exposures with reduced intelligence;
- 16 animal studies reporting that mice or rats ingesting fluoride have an impaired capacity to learn and remember
- 12 studies (7 human, 5 animal) linking fluoride with neurobehavioral deficits (e.g., impaired visual-spatial organization)
- 3 human studies linking fluoride exposure with impaired fetal brain development
Based on this accumulating body of research, several prestigious reviews — including a report authored by the U.S. National Research Council and a meta-analysis published by a team of Harvard scientists – have raised red flags about the potential for low levels of fluoride to harm brain development in some members of the population.
Read my post on Thieves ‘edible’ fluoride-free triclosan-free Toothpaste
The NRC Review (2006)
In 2006, the National Research Council (NRC) stated that “it is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain.” In addition to calling for U.S.-based research on fluoride’s IQ effects, the NRC expressed concern about fluoride’s possible contribution to dementia.
According to the NRC:
“Studies of populations exposed to different concentrations of fluoride should be undertaken to evaluate neurochemical changes that may be associated with dementia. Consideration should be given to assessing effects from chronic exposure, effects that might be delayed or occur late-in-life, and individual susceptibility.”
Harvard Review (2012)
In July of 2012, a team of Harvard researchers published a “meta-analysis” of 27 studies that have investigated the relationship between fluoride and human intelligence. (Choi 2012) The overwhelming majority of these studies found that fluoride exposure was associated with reduced IQ in children. In fact, 26 of the 27 studies that met the Harvard team’s inclusion criteria found a relationship between elevated fluoride and reduced IQ. The Harvard team thus concluded that fluoride’s effect on the developing brain of children should be a “high research priority” in countries like the U.S. where, despite mass fluoridation programs, no studies have yet been conducted to investigate the issue.
As noted by Dr. Philippe Grandjean, an environmental health scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health:
“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain. The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”
Read my post on Thieves ‘edible’ fluoride-free triclosan-free Toothpaste
3. Dioxin Facts
5. PubMed: Dioxin photoproducts of triclosan
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