Toxic toothpaste aimed at children
Toxic toothpaste aimed at children; Chemicals, associated with CANCER, are common ingredients in most of the toothpaste targeted to children 0-3 years old!
I recently had a coffee with a long time friend and businesswoman. She has just given birth to a new baby boy; having a 2-year-old baby girl already.
We spoke about the environment and the chemicals in our homes. She was well aware, from my website and previous conversations, about the dangers of the chemicals we allow into our homes.
We inadvertently started talking about baby care products, and toothpaste in particular; what I discovered, Chilled Me to My Bones!
What alarmed me is that toxic toothpaste aimed at children and marketed to new mums for their infant contains the same toxic chemicals found in adult toothpaste!!
- Apparently, images of ‘The Wiggles’ on the packaging makes it OK?????
Those of you that know me, will appreciate that I have been a strong advocate for natural, non-toxic toothpaste for many years. Toothpaste that is –
- Sodium Laurel Sulphate-FREE
- Synthetic Flavour, Fragrance, & Colour-FREE
Many name-brand adult toothpaste and mouthwashes contain these and many other harmful ingredients, made up of very small molecules that penetrate through the tissue of your mouth, enter the bloodstream, and build up in the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, and tissue.
Not only do the regulators and toothpaste manufacturers know the ingredients are dangerous, but they warn you on the label that it’s not safe to swallow.
A product we are supposed to clean our mouth with is dangerous if swallowed?
Now not having children myself, I’ve had limited contact with ‘children’s’ toothpaste, it had slipped under my radar, but, since many of my friends, clients & colleagues are new mums and using ‘children’s’ toothpaste, I was shocked to see what was on the ingredient lists of these carefully marketed products.
A quick visit to my local stores revealed all. Below are THE INGREDIENTS LISTED on some of the most popular toothpaste aimed at babies/children on the Australian market TODAY!
- Hydrated Silica
- Xylitol – Xylitol is actually an excellent cavity-fighting sweetener
- Xantham Gum
- Cellulose Gum
- Sodium Fluoride
- Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
- Sodium Laurel Sulphate & Sodium Laureth Sulphate
- Disodium Phosphate
- Trisodium Phosphate
- Titanium Dioxide
- Sodium Saccharine
Most of these Ingredients are NOT SAFE!!
Let’s look at the toxic toothpaste aimed at children ingredients that we should avoid where possible.
It’s not unusual for young children to use adult toothpaste. However, most of these will contain a high level of fluoride.
The dangers of fluoride in toothpaste can present health risks, particularly during early childhood. It may have its place in hardening the teeth when applied topically, but it should be kept out of the body wherever possible.
Young children will often swallow a large percentage of the toothpaste that they use.
Adult toothpaste commonly contains 1,000 ppm fluoride or more. This will cause small children to ingest fluoride at a level that can cause fluorosis of the teeth – seen as mottling, brown or white spots on the permanent teeth. It also accumulates in growing bones, making them brittle.
Dental fluorosis is a deformity in the tooth enamel caused by excessive fluoride intake by children in their first 8 years. In its mild form, it shows up as cloudy white patches and streaks on the teeth. In moderate to severe cases, it shows up as brown mottling to black staining. This seems to be more extreme with children that also drink fluoridated water.
Toxic effects of fluoride can cause conditions such as brittle bones, permanent tooth discolouration (dental fluorosis), behavioural changes, stomach ailments, skin rashes, impairment in glucose metabolism and an increased risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer).
To protect children from the dangers of fluoride, parents should treat adult toothpaste containing fluoride like any other harmful chemical.
PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. PEGs are commonly used as cosmetic cream bases. They are also used in pharmaceuticals as laxatives.
PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen and 1,4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen. Ethylene oxide can also harm the nervous system.
- The California Environmental Protection Agency has classified it as a developmental toxicant based on evidence that it may interfere with human development.
Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS):
The MOST dangerous ingredient in personal-care products today is –
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).
SLS is a surfactant, detergent, and emulsifier used in thousands of personal care products. SLS has a foaming property, it is added to toothpaste in order to generate foam and give the impression that the toothpaste is working.
Although SLS originates from coconuts, the chemical is anything but natural. The real problem with SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product; as classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (See PEG Compounds – Above).
SLS is also used in products such as garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers, and car wash soaps, and it’s actually used as a skin irritant during studies where medical treatments for skin irritation require an intentionally irritating agent.
Do you really want this stuff in your child’s mouth or your own for that matter?
Studies have shown that SLS causes skin and mucosa irritation, organ toxicity, developmental or reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes, as well as possible mutations and cancer.
The Journal of the American College of Toxicology reports that SLS is easily absorbed through the skin, and be retained in the eye, brain, heart, and liver with potentially harmful long-term effects. SLS is also found in most shampoos including baby shampoos; SLS can prevent children’s eyes from developing properly, can cause cataracts in adults, retard healing, and impair hair growth.
- Sodium coco-sulfate; often found in so-called ‘Natural’ toothpaste. It’s essentially the same compound but made from less purified coconut oil.
- Sodium lauryl ether sulfate, or SLES, Sodium dodecyl sulfate (A13-00356), Sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt (Akyposal SDS), Sodium salt sulfuric acid (Aquarex ME), Monododecyl ester sodium salt sulfuric acid (Aquarex methyl), and Ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS)
SLS has also been linked to nitrosamines; potent carcinogens that cause your body to absorb nitrates, which are also known to be carcinogenic as well.
Coal Tar Dyes:
Many children’s toothpaste are loaded with artificial dyes/colourings, (most commonly blue #1, blue #2, and red #40) in order to make them appealing to kids. Unfortunately, the “Fun” colour comes with some pretty serious health concerns.
Recent studies indicate that FD & C Blue Dyes #1 & 2 can trigger a wide number of behavioural, learning, and health problems, including ADHD. FD & C colour dyes may also cause potentially severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, nervousness, lack of concentration, and cancer.
Using FD & C Blue Dyes #1 & 2 is similar to ingesting crude oil, as it too, is synthesised from petroleum.
- These dyes were originally made from coal tar oil, which is a black, sticky tar by-product of steel making and petroleum distillation, and is a source of numerous complex chemicals. Through repeated human exposure, some of these isolated coal tar components were classified as active carcinogens, ultimately leading to US government regulations and restrictions. Nowadays, coal tar dyes are synthetically engineered rather than extracted from actual coal tar, thereby greatly reducing the possibility of being contaminated with carcinogenic residuals from the coal itself. However, the dyes still contain carcinogenic properties. Over several decades of use, some of these synthetic dyes have come under greater scientific and government scrutiny due to their carcinogenic and mutagenic activity. Because of this, they are still referred to in the industry as – coal tar dyes – according to the US FDA.
Even if toothpaste is never swallowed, these dyes can be absorbed within seconds through the skin on the lips, or through the mucous membrane in the mouth. These carcinogens get into your blood, your brain, and your cells in no time at all – especially when you consider most people use dental care products 2 to 3 times a day.
Coal tar-derived colours are used extensively in cosmetics, generally identified by a five-digit Colour Index (C.I.) number. The U.S. colour name may also be listed (‘FD&C’ or ‘D&C’ followed by a colour name and number). P-phenylenediamine is a particular coal tar dye used in many hair dyes. Darker hair dyes tend to contain more phenylenediamine than lighter colours.
Coal tar is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum, and is recognised as a human carcinogen. The main concern with individual coal tar colours (whether produced from coal tar or synthetically) is their potential to cause cancer. These colours may also be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are even combined with aluminum substrate.
Aluminum compounds and many heavy metals are known to be neurotoxic.
P-phenylenediamine has been linked to tumours in laboratory tests conducted by the U.S. National Cancer Institute it is a good idea to AVOID!
Parabens are a group of commonly used ingredients that act as a preservative in cosmetics and personal care products. They are highly effective in preventing the growth of fungi, bacteria & yeast that could cause products to spoil, thus enhancing the shelf life of products.
In the 1990s, parabens were deemed xenoestrogens―agents that mimic estrogen in the body.
‘Oestrogen disruption’ has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.
in 2004 British cancer researcher Philippa Darbre, Ph.D. found parabens present in malignant breast tumours. Her study didn’t prove parabens cause cancer, only that they were easily detected among cancerous cells. The study was criticised for not comparing paraben levels in normal tissue, but nevertheless, the results warranted further investigation.
As a result, experts in many countries are recommending limits on paraben levels in cosmetic products. What’s more, watchdog organisations worry that if parabens can be stored in the body, over time they could have a cumulative effect and pose a health risk. The average adult consumer uses 8-10 personal care products every day.
Endocrine disruption, declining sperm counts and increasing rates of male breast cancer and testicular cancer related to the fact that these chemicals can be so easily absorbed into our skin – rings alarm bells for me!!
There have been numerous studies on both sides of the argument about what parabens are and whether parabens are bad or safe. The fact that studies have shown potentially dangers and have linked parabens to various cancers, I’ve chosen to take the precautionary route and avoid ALL products containing them.
“The most important pathological effects of pollution are extremely delayed and indirect” – René Jules Dubos.
Remember, products that were deemed safe decades ago; with the advent of time, cumulative exposure and continued scientific studies, are now classified as known carcinogens, it’s just not worth the risk, AVOID!
Titanium dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 2B carcinogen – ”possibly carcinogenic to humans”!!
- Evidence has shown, that high concentrations of pigment-grade (powdered) and ultrafine titanium dioxide dust caused respiratory tract cancer in rats exposed by inhalation and intratracheal instillation.
It is one of the Top 50 chemicals produced worldwide, titanium dioxide is actually naturally occurring but is bound to impurities, which means it is chemically processed to remove them and leave the pure white pigment.
CosmeticsDatabase.com lists Titanium Dioxide as being linked to cancer, allergies, immunotoxicity and organ system toxicity, among others…..
The main concern for humans is the use of Titanium Dioxide Nano Particles. Nanoparticles are defined as being intentionally produced to exhibit specific properties; typically dimensions between 1 and 100 nanometers; diminutive (or small) sizes never before imagined possible. It’s the TiO2 nanoparticles that are widely used to provide whiteness and opacity to products such as paints, plastics, papers, inks, foods, cosmetics, and toothpaste. It is also present in almost every sunblock, where it helps protect the skin from ultraviolet light.
“A study by Churg et. al. at the University of British Columbia in their paper “Induction of Fibrogenic Mediators by Fine and Ultrafine Titanium Dioxide in Rat Tracheal Explants” (1999) found that ultrafine particles of the anatase form of titanium dioxide, which are less than 0.1 microns, are pathogenic or disease-causing.”
Lab tests have indicated that nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide may create free radicals that cause damage to cellular DNA and mitochondria, particularly in the presence of UV light. Free radical damage may also lead to cancer. If it’s destroying painted surfaces and DNA, should we be putting it on our skin?” – CHOICE Magazine.
As usual, the debate rages and so much remains unproven, but I will continue to read my labels and avoid ALL products that contain this ingredient. If it’s not needed why use it?
Most children’s toothpaste comes with some form of artificial sweetener to make them taste good so kids will use them. Aspartame and saccharin are the two most common. Sodium Saccharin is actually the solid form of the artificial sweetener saccharin.
“Saccharin consumption increases sperm DNA fragmentation and apoptosis (death) in rats/mice” – Rahimipour M, Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine – May 2014.
Sweetener Lesson 101 – AVOID artificial sweeteners. While the mechanisms of harm may differ, there is enough scientific evidence available now, to suggest that they’re all harmful in one way or another. This includes aspartame (NutraSweet™, Equal™), sucralose (Splenda™), saccharin (Sweet’N Low™), acesulfame potassium, neotame, and others.
– Of this Aspartame is perhaps the most dangerous of the bunch.
Once again, if it’s not necessary, don’t use it.
Glycerin is added to many kinds of toothpaste because it helps give toothpaste a nice, smooth texture so that it will squeeze out of the tube easily onto the top of your toothbrush. Although this ingredient isn’t necessarily harmful to your body, it’s just not so good for teeth.
- Glycerin has a tendency to coat the teeth when it’s brushed on, sealing them as a coat of wax would; this prevents tooth remineralisation. This leads to decay over time as the teeth need to be able to absorb the minerals in our saliva which strengthens them. Apparently, it takes 22 rinses to remove one use of glycerin from the teeth!
I say again, if it’s not absolutely necessary, don’t use it.
Often found in citrus-based products marketed as ‘Natural’ (look for pictures of an orange or lemon on the product). On repeated exposure limonene is known to affect the liver and kidneys, and cause eye and skin irritation. A common cause of skin rashes, limonene is often a contributor to allergies in children.
What about Triclosan?
Thankfully I didn’t find Triclosan in any toothpaste aimed at children, but it still appears in Colgate Total.
Triclosan is an antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal agent, found in many consumer care products including soaps, detergents, deodorants, and toothpaste.
Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor!
It has been linked to numerous other illnesses such as hay fever, food allergies, contact dermatitis, heart disease, cardiac, skeletal and muscle impairment, and CANCER!
There are also concerns, that due to its strong antibacterial nature, Triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. It is also toxic to the environment, fish, and wildlife.
“Triclosan, a chemical in toothpaste linked to cancer, bone malformation & hormone disruption, has been in toothpaste for 17 years.”
“Though its toxicity is well documented, the antibacterial, antifungal chemical triclosan is still being used as an active ingredient in Colgate Total toothpaste — and has been for nearly two decades! Hidden pages of documents submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in the 1990s reveal that triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor that inhibits proper growth and development, and yet it continues to be used in a toothpaste product used by millions of people worldwide.
The issue centres around approval granted by the FDA in 1997 for triclosan, which for the first time allowed the chemical to be included in toothpaste. This decision was made based on company-funded studies that, according to redacted pages obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, did not adequately demonstrate the safety of triclosan. Instead, they showed that the chemical is a potential health threat.
Despite all this, the FDA approved triclosan for use in Colgate Total, apparently hiding key portions of Colgate’s research that raised concerns about the chemical’s safety. This became increasingly obvious after the FDA refused to disclose the full data on triclosan, sparking a lawsuit that eventually forced the agency to hand over this data in the public interest.
According to Bloomberg, key pages from the 35-page summary on triclosan’s toxicity reveal that the chemical mimics thyroid hormones, a fact that was withheld when the FDA first green-lighted it for use in toothpaste. Mice and rats exposed to small doses of the chemical, similar to what humans encounter when using toothpaste containing triclosan, experienced fetal bone malformations that experts say point to endocrine disruption.
Other key points from the summary reveal that triclosan can cause cancer, something that was never revealed or addressed by the FDA on behalf of public safety. Instead, these and other risks were concealed, suggesting that Colgate had conspired with the FDA to present triclosan in the safest possible light without raising public concern.”
Natural News – August 2014
It’s interesting to note that in 2011, Colgate-Palmolive, removed Triclosan from its range of soap products, citing “changing consumer preferences”.
Need more evidence to convince yourself that Triclosan is probably not the best ingredient for brushing your teeth with?
It was first registered with the EPA in 1969 as a PESTICIDE!
NOTE: The FDA has indicated that it will issue a ruling on Triclosan in 2016.
What are the Alternatives to Toxic Toothpaste Aimed at Children?
There are multitudes of products on the market that don’t contain these dangerous chemicals, check your labels! Environmental Working Group’s database for the safety of personal care products and is on the Think Dirty App before purchase to check ingredients if not sure a score below 5 is OK.
Unfortunately, oral care products are often unlikely to have a full ingredient list. You see toothpaste is one of those personal care products regulated as a ‘drug’, not a cosmetic, on the basis of therapeutic claims like ‘tartar-fighting’, ‘whitening’ etc.
What does this mean for you and me? Only ‘active ingredients’ are required to be listed on the package. Many sunscreens, antiperspirants, and anti-bacterial cleansers also fall into this ‘drug’ category, bypassing the requirement for a complete ingredient list on the packaging and this list is provided to the regulator.
For your next toothpaste purchase –
- Look for a product that provides a full ingredient list.
- Make sure NONE of these chemicals are on that list.
- If any ingredients sound similar to chemicals we’ve discussed here write it down and drop me a line.
- Share this article with your friends, that way they too, are armed with the necessary information to make more informed purchasing decisions.
Products I have Found:
I’ve been using the Miessence Mint Toothpaste for many years now, and I love it. No chemical nasties and my teeth feel great every time I use it. Several of my friends and clients are using the Lemon and Anise and are also thrilled with it.
- All three flavours are suitable for children.
It does take a week or two to become accustomed to the taste (especially after using highly sweetened and flavoured commercial toothpaste for many years), but once you get used to it, I’m sure you’ll love it.
All of the Miessence toothpaste is made with Certified Organic natural ingredients, that are
- Fluoride FREE
- Aluminium FREE
- Detergent FREE
- Artificial Colour, Fragrance and Flavour FREE
Baby Organics produce a beautiful range of Certified Organic baby care products.
Their toothpaste is Certified Organic, sulphate and fluoride free. This kid-friendly toothpaste is made with a blend of herbal extracts and calcium carbonate to gently clean teeth.
It’s sweetened with tooth-friendly natural Stevia and has a fresh orange taste that kids will love.
It’s also free from synthetic chemicals, colours, and preservatives.
Okinawa Gold Coral White:
Okinawa Gold Coral White toothpaste is the worlds ONLY natural toothpaste formulated with ionic coral minerals (calcium) from above the sea.
The company claims that brushing your teeth with Coral White not only helps to prevent cavities, whitens teeth, and freshens breath, but because of the unique whole food mineral complex from Coral Whites above the sea fossilised stony coral minerals, it helps to re-mineralise the enamel.
The toothpaste combines Hydrogen Peroxide for its gentle whitening effect, the essence of Tea Tree, Spearmint and Peppermint oils for their flavorful freshness with the antiseptic, antimicrobial and antioxidant botanicals of Echinacea, Golden Seal, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginseng, and Gingko.
Jack N’ Jill Children’s Toothpaste:
Jack N’ Jill is a natural toothpaste for babies, toddlers & children that is safe to swallow. It was first made in Melbourne, Australia in 1949 and it’s been a family business for more than 20 years. It continues to be made in Australia and is now available in more than 20 countries.
Jack N’ Jill Toothpaste is 100% safe for young children – especially because they have a tendency to swallow it, rather than spit it out!
Jack N’ Jill toothpaste has been evaluated by researchers from Skin Deep – the Environmental Working Group’s database for the safety of personal care products and is on the Think Dirty App with a score of only 2, which is great, greenlight! The toothpaste rates with a ‘zero’ danger score – the safest rating they have.
To see the safety profile for Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste on Skin Deep, follow the link below –
EWG’s Cosmetics Database – Baby Toothpaste
They also make a terrific range of biodegradable children toothbrushes and silicone baby brushes.
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Yours in good health,
#DrRachel #HEF #toxictoothpaste #healthequalsfreedom #certifiedorganic
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