The Hidden Dangers in Your Toothpaste

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Filed Under: General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

The Hidden Dangers in Your Toothpaste

Want to avoid cold sore outbreaks, and potentially cancer as well?

Then check your toothpaste.

One of the main ingredients in most commercial toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), used as a foaming agent in toothpastes, shampoos, and other soaps. I’ve noticed that using toothpaste containing SLS can trigger cold sores in many people. 

Another point about SLS is that some claim it can cause cancer. I’m not sure that SLS on its own has that effect. Problems may arise, however, when the compound combines with other ingredients. Toxicology studies tend to focus on a single drug, substance, or compound. The whole game changes when an individual is taking more than one drug or using products with dozens of ingredients. From the research I’ve seen, this appears to be the case with SLS.

Another common ingredient in cosmetics is the emulsifier triethanolamine (TEA). When you mix TEA and SLS together you form a type of nitrosamine that has been shown to increase the risk of developing cancer. I don’t think anyone has the knowledge or expertise, much less the time or money, to determine what effects all these chemical combinations are having on our health.

You can find toothpastes without these ingredients at most health food stores.

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