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Crest Toothpaste Removing Micro Beads

Sep 25, 2014

By Dean George

Don’t worry – “bead” happy.

The decision to add little scrubbing beads to toothpaste years ago may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but buyer “beadware” – apparently the little blue bead bits have been found to sometimes cause dental issues.

polyethylene micro beads

Originally introduced as a tiny astringent that helps scrub teeth, some dental hygienists and dentists have noticed the tiny blue specks occasionally embed in the gums of patients. Some patients have complained that when they fail to thoroughly wash the little blue specks away, they suffer from mouth pain.

While Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials say they are unaware of any safety issues with the micro beads, toothpaste manufacturer Proctor & Gamble, the makers of Crest®, has announced all their toothpastes will be polyethylene micro bead free by March 2016.

“Today, some of P&G’s most popular toothpaste products do not contain micro beads, including Crest® Whitening + Scope, Crest® Baking Soda Peroxide, Crest® Extra Whitening, Crest® Cavity, and Crest® Tartar + Whitening,” the company said in a statement. “In those that do, P&G has begun removing them.”

Currently the little colored specks are found in Crest® 3D Whitening and Crest® Pro-Health toothpaste.

Environmentalists have been pushing back on the use of polyethylene micro beads since learning the little plastic particles are not biodegradable, but that hasn't stopped their use as a protective coating on some fresh fruits and vegetables, and certain nuts in shells.

Polyethylene is also used in food contact applications like plastic lunch bags, plastic wraps and food containers.

“Polyethylene micro beads are commonly used as scrub beads, such as in exfoliating products, but are also sometimes used in chewing gum and toothpaste,” the American Dental Association (ADA) said in a statement. “At this time, clinically relevant dental health studies do not indicate that the Seal should be removed from toothpastes that contain polyethylene micro beads.” 

Company officials say adding the micro beads was intended to create an enjoyable brushing experience, but the recent pushback from dental hygienists, environmentalists and concerned FDA officials has prompted them to remove them altogether and bid the beads bye-bye.

Sources: today.com, wthitiv.com, foxnews.com
Photo source: cawrecycles.org


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