the composition of toothpastes in the viewfinder of 60 million consumers

published on Thursday, September 08, 2022 at 3:55 p.m.

The association looked into the persistent presence of potentially harmful components, including titanium dioxide.

In a long survey devoted to the composition of toothpastes, the association 60 Million consumers warns against the frequent presence of potentially harmful components, including titanium dioxide. In its information, ANSES indicates that titanium dioxide (TiO2) is used in many applications (food additive, cosmetics, pigments), in particular for its properties of absorption of ultraviolet rays and its white coloring character ( food additive), and is, at least partially, in the form of a nanometric powder.

The results of the consumer association’s survey, relayed in particular by BFM TV Thursday, September 8, are without appeal: out of twelve toothpastes screened, nine contain at least one potentially dangerous component,. The survey mentions sodium lauryl sulphate, which is used to make the dough foam, or triclosan, an endocrine disruptor.

“What is worrying, disturbing, is the presence of titanium dioxide which is always there in half of the toothpastes. Currently, titanium dioxide is banned in food because there are suspicions of carcinogenic effects”, noted for her part Sophie Coisne, deputy editor-in-chief of 60 Millions de consommateurs, on the air of BFM TV.

The EU reacted

EU states gave the green light at the end of 2021 to ban the dye E171 (titanium dioxide) as a food additive from 2022, after its safety was questioned by the European regulator. Europe now bans the use of titanium dioxide as a food additive under a regulation that came into force on February 7, 2022, with a transition period of 6 months. The production of foodstuffs containing TiO2 is now prohibited, while those which are already on the market may remain so until their date of minimum durability or their use-by date.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) had estimated at the beginning of May 2021 that E171 could no longer be considered “safe” as a food additive, because if the absorption of titanium dioxide particles is low, “they can accumulate in the body”. The regulator, who had conducted his study at the request of Brussels, had therefore deemed that he could not exclude the “genotoxicity” of the component, that is to say its ability to damage DNA, the genetic material of cells.

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