Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Scrubbing Up Safely? ; Following Recent Claims of a Cancer-Causing Chemical in One Brand of Toothpaste, NEL STAVELEY Looks at Just How Safe Our Everyday Health and Beauty Products Really Are

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Scrubbing Up Safely? ; Following Recent Claims of a Cancer-Causing Chemical in One Brand of Toothpaste, NEL STAVELEY Looks at Just How Safe Our Everyday Health and Beauty Products Really Are

Article excerpt

YOU think you're doing everything right; looking after your teeth, exfoliating your skin, trying not to smell. But are you? Because when headlines emerge, suggesting that some of your favourite everyday hygiene products could actually be endangering your health - or the environment - confusion abounds.

Recent reports claimed that a major toothpaste brand contains small traces of a cancer-causing chemical called triclosan.

Scary stuff - but do we really need to be concerned? Here's a swift sniff at some of the frightening cosmetics claims from recent times.

Toothpaste THERE was panic in the press about triclosan, but the truth is thankfully far calmer.

"Triclosan is a widely used antibacterial agent and is a constituent of many oral healthcare products," says leading periodontologist, Professor Robin Seymour.

"When used in this manner, the effect of triclosan is purely topical and very transient. While there is a risk the triclosan could be swallowed, the amount and dosage is so low that it would be difficult to quantify."

He adds that the benefits of triclosan also need to be positioned against any risk.

"There's overwhelming evidence that regular use of triclosancontaining products improves oral health in terms of plaque control and gingivitis. "There's also increasing evidence that good oral health can reduce the risk of a variety of life-threatening conditions, like coronary heart disease, stroke, malignancy and also diabetic control."

Prof Seymour goes on to point out there's also no evidence from human trials that triclosan increases the risk of cancer, and some research even indicates that triclosan may be an effective inhibitor of cancer cell growth.

Nail varnish YOU might think you're making your fingers look pretty, but a couple of years ago, a report about nail varnish showed a far uglier truth; that most leading brands contained a number of carcinogenic chemicals - formaldehyde, a hardening agent; toluene, to evenly suspend colour; and the plasticiser dibutyl phthalate, to add flexibility and sheen.

Dubbed 'the toxic trio', many companies were forced to remove the chemicals, but a US investigation in 2012 revealed many products still contained them. …

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