Toothpaste manufacturers Procter & Gamble have released a statement to ABC15 in Phoenix saying that they will be removing the plastic microbeads from their Crest toothpaste products by March 2016. The statement said that the approved ingredient is ‘completely safe’ and had caused ‘no issues’ but added that the company is aware that ‘there is a growing preference for us to remove this ingredient. So we will.’
The controversy over the plastic microbeads began when a dental hygienist in Phoenix, Trish Walvaren, wrote a blog about how she was constantly finding blue specks embedded in patient’s gums. Walvaren spoke about the sulci – the small channels between the gums and the teeth, saying; ‘Your dental hygienist spends most of their time cleaning every sulcus in your mouth, because if the band of tissue around your tooth isn’t healthy, then you’re not healthy.’ However, she added that the polyethylene beads may not be causing gum problems and maintained that this would be ‘jumping too soon to that conclusion without scientific proof.’
Microbeads are currently found in several Crest toothpastes and an international campaign, called Beat the Microbead, has been launched against the polyethylene beads. Some Colgate products also contain microbeads.