Over the last few weeks we have mentioned the dangers of using Deodorant, and even Tampons/Pads. We also mentioned that you might want to avoid Soy.
While many of you took the time to read and comment favorably, some were disgusted and felt like we were telling you to avoid everything – and your reasoning was “Well, everything causes SOMETHING so why should I ditch it?”
True to some extent – some of the WORST products are the ones we use every day. And even more, some of those are products that you can literally make yourself without having to spend too much money.
Putting chemicals on your body may be worse than eating them – and that is because when you eat them, your tummy enzymes and your stomach help break them down and flush them out.
But what you put on your skin is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and goes straight for your internal organs. While they don’t flush out (like food INSIDE of your body) they DO accumulate in your body. Sadly enough, personal care items are a HUGE billion dollar industry in the U.S. Moreover, the U.S. Government does not require mandatory testing for products before they are sold.
Even then, you might not think it’s all that serious… here are a few reasons you may want to toss that toothpaste to the side and go for an alternative..
Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)
Also referred to as SLS, this is used in almost ALL Cosmetic products, and industrial cleaners. You can find it in your makeup, shampoo, hand soap and even your detergent.
It comes from Coconuts, but as it is processed, it’s contaminated with 1,4 dioxane – swallowing can lead to diarrhea, and nausea. So don’t swallow your toothpaste :) 1,4 dioxane (on the CDC site) is described as a carcinogenic to humans, toxic to the brain and nervous system, kidneys and liver. It is ALSO a groundwater contaminant.
Fluoride is used to strengthen your enamel – and because it can be toxic when ingested in large doses, manufacturers have been required to add warning labels to your toothpaste: “WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of ag. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.”
A great documentary to watch on Fluoride is “An Inconvenient Truth” (Youtube).
Saccharin is a sweetening agent in Sweet’N Low and it has been found in major brand name labels (Crest for example). Crest claims that it provides them stability while in store shelves, and that it does not contribute to cavities. It’s one of 4 dangerous sweeteners that you might want to avoid – it can lead to allergic reactions and issues such as headaches, diarrhea, and skin issues. When used in studies with rats, there have been issues that show it led to bladder cancer (although that has not been proven with humans) – there is still cause for concern.
This is a petroleum based chemical used to soften cosmetic products – you can also find it in body wash and other personal care items.
There are many forms of PG, and what its is, is a form of mineral oil, an alcohol produced by fermentation of yeast and carbohydrates – it gives the designation of carbs when used in foods. You can find it in several grades – including antifreeze, engine coolant, paint, enamel and varnishes – and you can also find it in pharmaceutical grade and used in topical and injectable drug products.
It is used to extend the shelf life of products in stores.
Over exposure of PG can be harmful – and it can have effects with skin sensitivities or allergies, effects on the brain, liver and kidneys.
So what do WE use?
My 9 year old uses Coconut Oil and Baking Soda combined with Peppermint Essential Oil – it lasts for months and it’s cheap… she is infatuated with the stuff.
I will say that you won’t get good toothpaste for free, but I think we are well past that desire at this point. Finding something that is better is obviously more important to us than a free tube of Colgate.
Do you have a lot of it that you don’t want to go to waste? You can always donate, and there are many other uses for it besides your teeth.