Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Added as a detergent to help products foams, sodium laurel sulfate and its not so distant relative sodium laureth sulfate pose a wide range of potential health risks. On its own, sodium laurel sulfate can cause damage and irritation to the skin and accumulate in the heart, liver, lungs, and brain.
Found most often in anti-bacterial products, triclosan is often seen in many supermarket toothpaste. In the US the EPA (the United States Environmental Protection Agency) classifies triclosan as a pesticide, as it can be harmful to both human health and the environment. Research has linked this chemical as potentially causing cancer.
You might have seen this one in diet drinks and sweeteners. Saccharin is in fact an artificial sweetener that has been linked to bladder cancer, brain tumors, and lymphoma.
Titanium dioxide is often found in products including toothpaste as a way to colour it white. According to the Environmental Working Group, there is concern that it may be carcinogenic and could cause non-reproductive-organ-system toxicity however not enough medical research has been done to make this conclusive.
Toothpaste comes in all sorts of colours these days, but the most common are often white with streaks of blue or red which is achieved with artificial colouring. Studies have linked synthetic colouring chemicals to hyperactivity and ADHD in children.
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