• Toothpaste To Keep The Earth – And Your Mouth – Clean

    Posted by   |  January 29, 2016
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    You – hopefully – use toothpaste everyday. A thorough brushing once or twice a day keeps your teeth and gums healthy. But, your choice of brand could contain all manner of unwanted substances that can hurt you and the environment. After all, immediately after exposing yourself to the material within, you drain it into the water supply.

    The ingredients in your toothpaste could do damage to our resources, and your health. Fortunately, with some smart decision-making, you can safeguard your health, and that of the environment.

    Microbeads

    The most detrimental piece of the cavity-cleansing puzzle is the presence of microbeads. Microbeads are small pieces of plastic often used in cosmetic and personal care items, including, yes, toothpaste. Though they get washed down drains at a staggering rate – enough to cover 300 tennis courts daily – microbeads can elude water treatment planets, instead passing into major bodies of water. Since plastic does not break down well, these beads float through aquatic environments for potentially limitless time.

    Microbeads have been implicated in poisoning fish and coral, thus disrupting the delicate ecosystem of the ocean. And they’re not pleasant for humans, either. Components used to make plastic can exacerbate health problems, mainly heart disease and diabetes, but also cancer and brain deterioration. It’s bad enough that you potentially rub the stuff on your teeth – if you eat seafood, you might be getting mouthfuls of harmful endocrine disruptors.

    Other Chemicals 

    Beyond microbeads, a laundry list of strange substances can worm their way into your toothpaste. One can frequently find material such as triclosan, which can breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria, buried among the ingredients. Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS), a patented pesticide, shows up as a recurring culprit as well. Although the EPA maintains the safety of SLS, it can still have an undesirable effect. Production of SLS, which comes from widely-demand palm oil, can contribute to deforestation. Many toothpastes can contain other unsavory items among their components, including detergents and potassium nitrate, the latter of which can interfere with aquatic animals’ hormonal development.

    And all of it, eventually, comes back to us.

    Healthy Alternatives

    “Natural” toothpaste brands almost always avoid microbeads, as well as their chemical counterparts that lurk within the mainstream brands. Instead, they utilize healthier resources such as plants and oils. Some of them may contain fluoride, though they often come in fluoride-free varieties as well. Often times, these products can prove hard-to-find in stores, but fortunately, online libraries can offer you the chance to make the switch. Using these lists, you can compare popular varieties of eco-friendly toothpastes and make a decision that fits with your financial situation.

    What’s harmful to a human being tends to harm the environment as well. The opposite holds true, as well – toxins that erode the planet’s natural resources can take a toll on our bodies, as a residual effect. As such, protecting the environment also means protecting yourself. And, in your own home, you may have products with negative effects you don’t realize.

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