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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Toothpaste misadventures.


Yesterday I went to the store to pick up a few things and found this on sale. Signal toothpaste. Normally toothpaste here is very expensive, but this particular box was on the 1 lira table! Wow! For less than a dollar I can buy a large tube of toothpaste.

I got home with my purchases and listened to the kids argue about who got to claim this tube of toothpaste for their very own. There is no such thing as sharing a tube of toothpaste in this house. One kid squeezes from the bottom, one never remembers to put the lid back on, one smears toothpaste all over the top of the tube, and so on. I was wishing I had purchased 4 tubes of toothpaste so that there didn't have to be a discussion about it!


As the kids discussed ownership of the toothpaste I happened to glance down at the box. I read through the ingredients so I could be a more informed consumer or something. Calcium Carbonate, Aqua, Sorbitol, and so on and so on. Until I came the the last ingredient in the toothpaste...


Formaldehyde. WHAT? Isn't that what they use in embalming? Isn't that what the frogs and worms in my biology class soaked in as they waited to be dissected? Do all toothpastes contain Formaldehyde? I checked the Colgate and the other tube of Signal and they didn't list this as an ingredient.

Now I don't know what to do. Throw away this brand new tube of toothpaste because it contains something that sounds a little iffy to me or be thankful that it contains a preservative of such high quality that it will eliminate the need to visit the dentist.

22 comments:

Charlie Girl said...

AND exactly what was in that gum you sent me??

Do I need to see a specialist?

{grin}

Anonymous said...

throw it out!!!
t

motherbumper said...

Ohhh that's so crazy. Mind you that ingredient is in all yummy cakes (Twinkies etc) so I wouldn't let me stop me from brushing. But it's interesting that Unilever would put it in toothpaste over there but not in North America. Makes one wonder, doesn't it.

Lori said...

Yeah, I thinking throw it out. Sounds pretty scary to me!!

missnightowl said...

Here is a link to the Formaldehyde Council with some information about the uses of formaldehyde. From the first paragraph: Formaldehyde is a critical ingredient in the production of hundreds of items that improve everyday life. While little or no formaldehyde is present in the final product, the chemical is an essential building block in the production of some of the most common consumer items, including paper towels, photographic film, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, lipstick and nail polish and acts as an anti-bacterial agent in such consumer products as mascara.
You can read more at: http://www.formaldehyde.org/about_common.html

Signal is made by Unilever, who also makes Close-Up toothpaste and many other products like Dove, Pond's, Vaseline, Lipton, Wish-Bone, Hellman's. This is a link to their product information for Signal and Close-Up toothpastes: http://www.unilever.com/ourbrands/personalcare/signalcloseup.asp

I'm not saying you should necessarily keep it, or throw it away. That is entirely your choice, of course!

HeyJoe said...

Perhaps that explains the low, LOW price.

Sparkliesunshine said...

This is exactly why I use Himalayan salts to brush my teeth. I sooo wouldn't put that in my mouth. Sorry.

LiteralDan said...

Why bother with the toothpaste? Dr. Dan says just do a quick formaldehyde rinse every morning and night to keep your teeth sparkling white!

Mamadallama said...

http://www.unilever.co.id/ourcompany/newsandmedia/pressreleases/_2007/UnileversToothpasteSoapandShampooareSafe.asp

This site contains this sentence:

Pepsodent contains formaldehyde of 0.04 % (0.016 % active), far below the permitted level. According to BPOM regulation, if the level of formaldehyde in the toothpaste is no higher than 0.05 % , it is no need to state warning note of ”contain formaldehid” on the packaging.

I surfed and found mention that formaldehyde is a carcinogen and neurotoxin. The amounts in toothpaste and cosmetics is low and is used as a preservative. Some individuals are sensitive to it however. I can't find any definitive discussion but I think I would toss it. Glad it was cheap!

Mamadallama said...

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E5D81539F937A35753C1A967948260&sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=all

I just found this New York Times article. Throw out the toothpaste!

Sra said...

I seem to remember a news story in the U.S. a few years ago in which imitation toothpastes posing as Colgate and Crest were found to contain dangerous chemicals. They didn't come from Crest or Colgate, but they were pretty convincing looking. And they were tubes being sold in dollar stores. So maybe that's why yours was on sale, no?

I'd throw it away if I were you.

Sra said...

Also, I can recommend natural oral hygiene products from Tom's of Maine. I love their mouthwash because it neither contains sugar nor alcohol, but it works! Never tried the toothpaste, but maybe I'll start, since I'm not too pleased about the pervasive use of questionable chemicals in hygiene products.

Brittany said...

Yikes, toss it. i love a good deal, but not at the expense of putting dead people juice on my teeth!

Philly said...

Send it to Sista #2 and she can hang it up with her gay toothbrushes.

#1

Hillary said...

I'd throw it out but I'm wimpy like that.

Tierd said...

yeah, that doesn't seem right at all! i second the tom's of main recommendation. your family is too cute by the way!

Your Pal Pinki said...

I buy the kids their own tubes of toothpaste too. Why is toothpaste so expensive there anyways?

Natalie said...

charlie girl - um...according to the ingredients it contains "chewing gum". aren't you glad to know that!

t - i did. couldn't handle keeping it.

motherbumper - what? it's in twinkies too? i might have to make an exception for twinkies. i wonder what else it's hidden in...

lori - i agree. i threw it away! i guess paying a dollar for good blog material isn't too bad. although i didn't do it on purpose.

missnightowl - wow! i so could have googled that but i just got scared and grossed out! thanks for the info!

heyjoe - i'm thinking that explained it. there were other tubes of signal on the shelf not marked down. they probably were clean.

sparliesunshine - i remember reading about your going green/natural ideas. i can't imagine trying to do that here. maybe when i get back to the states.

literaldan - nasty. ewww. yuck.

mamadallama - another smartie! thanks. i did throw it out. ag wasn't too happy with losing her toothpaste...but she'll get over it.

sra - i'm sure there are all kinds of dangerous chemicals in stuff here that aren't in things in the states. they have much looser consumer laws. most of the time it doesn't bother me...except when i am putting formaldehyde in my mouth! tom's of maine...i'll google it!

brittany - tossed. dead people juice. ag loved that!

#1 - it would look great next to those tooth brushes! almost like a set!

hillary - i am not normally wimpy, but something about that word just did it to me.

tierd - tom's of maine...i'll have to check into that when i get back to the states. they might actually have that at one of the import stores here, but i'm not sure i would want to spend the money. it would probably be 3 times what i would pay for it in the states.

pinky - owning their own toothpaste cuts down on arguments...and i have no idea why it is expensive. baking soda is cheap...we should just start using that!

Arizona Albino said...

Natalie-is that your picture on the box of toothpaste? Is that your secret family your are hugging?

Natalie said...

arizona albino - nope that's not me. i don't get nearly that excited about toothpaste. it might be my evil twin...she would get excited about it AND use that nasty stuff on her teeth!

Anonymous said...

You may want to check your ingredients a little closer. Formaldahyde has many different names and is in most shampoo, toothpaste, etc. Terrible stuff!

Natalie said...

anon - i've heard that! i have looked around quite a bit. i guess it doesn't seem as bad when they call it by another name though. ew!