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Cancer alert from toothpaste

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  • Carol Blackman
    This came over an autism network. Thought I d pass it along. Tom s of Maine thankfully is not on the bad list. Carol
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6, 2006
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      This came over an autism network.  Thought I'd pass it along.  Tom's of Maine thankfully is not on the bad list.



      Toothpaste cancer alert
      By Mark Prigg Science Correspondent And Rebecca
      Lawrence, Evening Standard

      Dozens of toothpastes sold at supermarkets are at the
      centre of a cancer alert today.

      Anti-bacterial cleaning products, including
      dishwashing liquid and handwash, are also affected.

      Researchers have discovered that triclosan, a chemical
      in the products, can react with water to produce
      chloroform gas. If inhaled in large enough quantities,
      chloroform can cause depression, liver problems and,
      in some cases, cancer.

      An Evening Standard investigation found dozens of
      products on supermarket shelves containing the
      chemical, from brand names including Colgate,
      Aquafresh, Dentyl and Sensodyne.

      Marks& Spencer confirmed today it was removing
      products containing triclosan from all its stores and
      has been working with Greenpeace to develop
      alternative products.

      Asda said it was investigating the problem and would
      be urgently talking to its suppliers.

      Giles Watson, a toxicology expert at wildlife charity
      WWF, 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."

      A Tesco spokesman said: "We do not use triclosan in
      any of our own-brand products, apart from one
      anti-bacterial handwash, which is being reformulated,
      and our toothpaste. We believe that triclosan is a very effective ingredient in toothpaste as it helps fight gum disease and improve overall oral care."

      The Department of Trade and Industry said use of
      triclosan was tightly controlled under EU laws brought
      in last year, but that they were under constant review.

      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.

      Products affected

      Triclosan is in:

      Dentyl mouthwash
      Colgate Total fresh stripe
      Colgate Total
      Sensodyne Total Care
      Tesco own brand toothpaste
      Mentadent P;
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