Toothpaste may become one of the most basic personal care which is available in everyone’s bathroom. Everyday, people use toothpaste to brush their teeth. However, not many of them consider about the chemical containment in their toothpaste or other personal care products. Most of people decide to trust the manufacture and believe to its popular brand. As a customer, you have to start thinking about this matter and reading the chemical ingredients in your toothpaste.
Toothpaste, like other personal care & hygiene products, may contain the harmful chemical which will cause the adverse effect you your health. The harmful chemicals in toothpaste and other personal care products can possibly create the dreadful diseases and other long term health issues for human. In this article, we will cover the harmful chemicals in toothpaste you should know.
- Dangerous Chemicals in Everyday Products
- Harmful Chemicals in the Environment
- List of Chemicals Used
Triclosan is one of the popular harmful chemicals in toothpaste. Triclosan is the anti-bacterial chemical having the ability to fight against gingivitis and plaque. The research has shown that triclosan has the positive benefit which can help us avoid gingivitis problem. However, this chemical also has the relation with the antibiotic resistance issue and endocrine problem. Disruption in endocrine system can create serious effects to human as it can lead to some health issues like cancer (breast, testicular, ovarian and prostate cancer), precocious girls’ puberty, low birth weight in babies and testicles problems in boys.
The study has been conducted in animal to see the effect of triclosan. It showed that this chemical can cause the fetal bone malformation in the rats and mice. This can also lead to hormonal effects. This study also revealed that triclosan may cause other potential risks including disrupting some signaling cells in the brain, heart and other human cells. Another research showed that triclosan has the strong relation with the cancer disease. Triclosan may increase the risk of breast cancer progression. There has been one state in United State that banned the use of triclosan in any products.
However, you can still find the use of triclosan in many products such as toothpaste, makeup, hand soap and many other products. Toothpaste is great media for triclosan to affect human. The study in US shows that people who brushed their teeth with toothpaste having tricolosan chemical will have five times higher triclosan concentration in their urine than those who don’t.
- Chemicals in Cigarettes that Cause Cancer
- Harmful Chemicals in Antibacterial Soap
- Harmful Cleaning Chemicals
2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS is included in the surfactants chemical category. Surfactants itself are the chemicals functioning the foaming action in the toothpaste. Most of the toothpaste contains the surfactant chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) or sodium laureth sulfate. Even though this chemical has important role in the toothpaste, SLS also has the drawbacks to our taste ability. SLS can possibly break the phospholipids in our tongue.
The effect is we will feel more bitter taste than it supposed to be. This can be the reason why you taste everything bad after you brush your teeth using this kind of toothpaste. SLS also has the relation with the skin irritation problems and canker sores. A study showed that people with the recurring sores problems are advised to use the SLS-free toothpaste.
Moreover, the main problem of this chemical is actually in its manufacturing process. SLS can possibly get infected by 1,4 dioxane which is the carcinogenic product. The manufacturing process of SLS also can release the carcinogenic compound to the environment. If it infects the environment, SLS can bring the toxic effect to marine life like fish, crustaceans and also insects. SLS is included in the insecticide chemical. This kind of chemical has the risk to damage the environment.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
Another chemical which is often used in the toothpaste product is artificial sweetener. One of the popular example of artificial sweetener is aspartame. This chemical has the containment of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine is the chemical compound which has been synthetically modified to be able to carry methyl. This is the reason of the sweetness taste in the aspartame.
The chemical bond of phenylalanine methyl is called as methyl ester bond. This bond is vey weak which gives the opportunity for methyl group to break off and create the methanol form. As we know that methanol is the harmful chemical for human body. Even though methanol can be found in the fruits and veggies, methanol is still harmful to human. In the fruits and vegetables, methanol has the strong bond with the pectin which gives the allowance for this chemical to pass our digestive system. In the toothpaste case, the methanol is made by the aspartame and it has no bonding with anything. So humans will not be able to remove methanol in their body.
Unlike other mammal species, humans are not able to break down the methanol into harmless acid as we don’t possess that specific braking down biological mechanism. In our body, methyl alcohol will move through our blood vessel to the sensitive areas like brain. In brain, the methanol can change its form to the formaldehyde. Since we have no catalase, this formaldehyde can freely damage human tissue. If you get infected by methanol, you will have some symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, ear buzz issues, weakness, vertigo, numbness, neuritis and other disruption in your organs.
We have been popularly known fluoride as one of the harmful chemicals in the toothpaste. Fluoride has been associated with the decaying teeth problems. Based on the recent study, fluoride actually has the beneficial effect to the teeth. It can form up the fluorapatite layer on human teeth with the thickness of six nanometer.
Even though, it’s supposed to be beneficial, this fluorapatite layer is extremely thin which leads to the questions from the expert about its benefits. Scientists are not really sure whether this very thin layer can protect our enamel and provide the benefits. With its super thin form, this fluorapatite layer can easily be removed by the simple chewing. Toothpaste containing fluoride is the highest source of the fluoride intake in children. This chemical is the major cause of the dental fluorosis issue.
This happens because children tend to swallow the toothpaste which they take in to their mouth. Swallowing fluoride is not good for your health as it will lead to some serious disease. Fluoride is the toxic chemical which infects human tissues over the time, destructs the enzymes and causes health problems like neurological and endocrine diseases. Children has the highest risk of this harmful chemicals in toothpaste. As a recommendation, you should avoid the use of fluoride toothpaste for your children. For the adults, the use of fluoride toothpaste is also not advisable.
- Chemicals in Weed
- Chemicals in the Brain
5. Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol is actually the mineral oils which extensively used in the paints, enamels, anti-freeze and airplane deicers in the industrial grade. While in its pharmaceutical grade, propylene glycol are found in many applications including personal care products like toothpaste.
In toothpaste, this chemical is used as the surfactant. As mentioned before, surfactant is the chemicals which has the role to form the foam in the toothpaste. This harmful chemical has the risk to cause the skin, lung and eye irritation. This chemical can possibly infect toxic to human organ. This is the harmful chemicals in toothpaste which you should avoid.
6. Diethanolamine or DEA
Diethanolamine or DEA is the chemical known as the hormone disrupter. You can find this chemical in the many foaming products including toothpaste. DEA has the risk to make reaction with other substances to create the carcinogenic compound called N-nitrosodiethanolamine or NDEA. This NDEA can infect your skin and possibly cause dreadful diseases like stomach, liver, bladder and esophagus cancers.
Based on the scoring of EWG (Environmental Working Group), DEA has the score of 10 in the cosmetic list. This means that DEA has the highest toxic score which is very dangerous to human. It contains toxic which can attack human organs, cause irritation and cancer. It’s also listed as the possible carcinogenic by the California Environmental Protection Agency. It’s really not advisable to choose this harmful chemicals in toothpaste as your product.
Microbeads is the next harmful chemicals in toothpaste. You can find this chemical in the many personal care products like body wash, facial scrubs and toothpaste. It’s the tiny plastic pellets which can be dangerous for the environment. After you use your microbeads contained toothpaste, this chemical will go through the drain system till the waste water treatment plant.
This microbead can possibly absorb the toxin from the water. Then, in the environment, this toxic microbeads can contaminate the marine life which will further infect the human who consume contaminated fishes and other seafood. The toothpaste which contains microbeads can cause the gum disease.
Indeed, toothpaste is daily product that we use everyday to clean our teeth. Thus, many toothpaste compounds by harmful chemicals which has drawbacks for mouth organs and more health risk. However, always be smart to choose the toothpaste products and may we better balance it with natural mouthwash.