Billions of people use it every day without giving it any second thought. The only time people even notice it is in the morning and evenings when they brush their teeth. However, what lies beneath the surface of toothpaste is fascinating. From its complicated chemistry to complex manufacturing, a complete understanding is difficult, even with this in mind, a basic knowledge of the different chemicals and additives in toothpaste. Some have been lauded for maintaining health, whereas others have been linked to side effects and adverse effects on health, including cancer; that’s why it is essential to take your daily vitamins. It is important to be aware of these compounds to promote a better awareness of the products used every day.
List of Some Common Toothpaste Additives
Triclosan is an antimicrobial commonly found in toothpaste and other conventional products like soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, and many other household items. They have been widely accepted, but recent studies have shown that they might have long-term effects. According to scientists, these effects might even include cancer. USEPA lists it as a pesticide citing dangers to human and environmental health.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Used in most kinds of toothpaste as a detergent and cleaning agent have been linked to a range of potential health risks. Cases have shown that it has caused eye damage, skin irritation, and labored breathing. It has been proven that it can accumulate in the internal organs of the body. It can also transform into nitrosamines in the body. Nitrosamines are a class of powerful carcinogens that cause the body to absorb harmful nitrates.
Fluoride is one of the main ingredients that hardens the enamel in the tooth. However, there have been some concerns with this product as well. Some studies show, 1/10th of an ounce of fluoride can kill a 100-lb adult, and even minimal levels can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Diethanolamine or DEA as the foaming compound in toothpaste is commonly known. Some cases have been shown to disrupt hormones and form carcinogens, increasing the risk of liver and kidney cancers.
According to EPA regulations, this compound cannot be used safely without rubber gloves. And yet, it is used in toothpaste. Propylene Glycol is absorbed rapidly through the skin, and long-term exposure can lead to abnormalities in the brain, liver, and other abnormalities.
Aspartame and other sweeteners are commonly used in toothpaste. Their point of concern is that they are heavy with methyl organic groups. These turn into the natural methanol, which humans are not capable of breaking down. This chemical then leads to poisoning, causing headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, numbness, and shooting pains in the extremities, neuritis, memory lapses, and behavioral disorders.
This article has raised some of the important issues and concerns in consumer products like toothpaste. However, it is important not to be alarmed. In moderation, toothpaste is perfectly safe. Awareness while shopping is always necessary. Some quick research and investment in quality can help stave off any of these effects in the long run.