A program of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners

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Toothpaste, mouthwash, and whitening treatments may contain harmful chemicals of concern such as hormone-disrupting preservatives and anti-microbials that can build up in your body and the environment. To protect yourself, check ingredient labels for parabens, triclosan, and other Chemicals of Concern on labels.


One chemicals of particular concern in oral care products is triclosan, which is still found in toothpastes and tooth whitening products on store shelves. Used as an anti-microbial, triclosan is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can harm thyroid function. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified triclosan in the urine of 75 percent people tested.[1] Widespread use with few regulations has led to concerns regarding their effects on humans and the environment, such as endocrine disruption, bioaccumulation, and the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibodies and antibacterial products.

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[1] Calafat A et al. “Urinary Concentrations of Triclosan in the U.S. Population: 2003-2004.” Environ Health Perspect. 116:303-307. Print.

PFAS “forever” chemicals in products like dental floss are also toxic and linked to numerous health problems including cancer. PFAS is a class of chemicals that build up in our bodies and the environment, rather than breaking down over time, hence they are commonly known as “forever chemicals.” Two specific types of PFAS chemicals are PFOA, which is a suspected endocrine (hormone) disruptor and possible carcinogen, and PFOS, which has been linked to fertility problems. Several PFAS chemicals, especially PFOA, have been linked to increased risk for breast cancer.

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As a result of public pressure mounted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and consumers, Avon agreed to phase out toxic triclosan from its products, which include toothpastes, mouthwashes, and teeth whitening.

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Our Safer Beauty Bill Package in U.S. Congress includes the Toxic-Free Beauty Act of 2021, which would ban 11 of the most hazardous chemicals and the entire class of PFAS “forever” chemicals from beauty and personal care products. Take action to make beauty and personal care products safer for all!

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Products of Concern

  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Teeth whitening gels and pastes
  • Dental floss
  • Dental fillings
  • Breath sprays

Chemicals of Concern


  1. Read Labels: Check ingredient labels to avoid the above chemicals of concern found in body care products.
  2. Simplify: Choose products with simpler ingredient lists and fewer synthetic chemicals. Select products that fully disclose their fragrance ingredients by skipping products with “fragrance” on the label.
  3. Minimalist: Using fewer products is the easiest and cheapest way to reduce your risk by minimizing your exposure to harmful chemicals in cosmetics.
  4. Use an App: Get Clearya or Think Dirty to find out whether products are toxic as you shop.
  5. Look Beyond: Since the beauty industry is largely unregulated, there are no legal standards for personal care products that are labeled “clean,” “pure,” “natural,” or “organic.” Look beyond false marketing claims by reading ingredient labels.
  6. DIY: Many products are easy and fun to make yourself. Plus, you can customize your recipes to match your specific beauty concerns and favorites. Make your own moisturizer, sugar or salt scrub, body oil, and more using simple, organic ingredients.

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Looking for a Safer Alternative?​

Use Clearya’s app to find non-toxic products! Clearya alerts you to toxics and helps you find safe products.


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Get the Top 20 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid PDF FREE!

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