One blog post by a Phoenix dental hygienist convinced a multi-national corporation to banish a popular toothpaste ingredient.
Proctor & Gamble – the manufacturer of Crest toothpaste – acted quickly after Trish Walraven’s concerns received nationwide attention.
Walraven, RDH, BSDH, told KPNX, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, that she has been noticing blue beads in patients’ gums for a few years. “We thought it was a cleaning product or something people were chewing.”
The pedigree of these mysterious blue specks? Polyethylene, a plastic used for bottles and plastic grocery bags, with a shelf life of, oh, forever.
In an interview with reporter Jeric Foulds, dentist Justin Phillips said the micro beads found in toothpaste get caught in the gum line, causing bacteria that can lead to gingivitis and disease.
Proctor & Gamble’s response?
In a statement released to KPNX: “While the ingredient in question is completely safe, approved for use in foods by the FDA, and part of an enjoyable brushing experience for millions of consumers with no issues, we understand there is a growing preference for us to remove this ingredient. So we will.
We currently have products without microbeads for those who would prefer them. We have begun removing microbeads from the rest of our toothpastes, and the majority of our product volume will be microbead-free within six months. We will complete our removal process by March of 2016.”