Aggarwal's Blog

Top-selling mouthwash brands linked to oral cancer

Melbourne: Australian health experts have warned that topselling mouthwashes can cause oral cancer and should be pulled from supermarket shelves immediately.

The experts issued the warning after investigating latest scientific evidence linking alcohol-containing mouthwashes to the deadly disease.

The investigation concludes that there is now ‘sufficient evidence’ that “alcoholcontaining mouthwashes contribute to the increased risk of development of oral cancer”.

The mouthwash contains ethanol, which is believed to allow cancer-causing substances to permeate the lining of the mouth more easily and cause harm. Acetaldehyde, a toxic byproduct of alcohol that may accumulate in the oral cavity when swished around the mouth, is also believed to be carcinogenic. Listerine, the nation’s biggest-selling mouthwash and a brand endorsed by the Australian Dental Association, contains as much as 26% alcohol.

Lead review author Michael McCullough said alcohol-containing mouthwash should be reclassified as prescription-only and carry written health warnings. McCullough, who’s also chair of the ADA’s therapeutics committee, is calling on the ADA to urgently reassess its seal of approval on mouthwashes containing alcohol. ANI

[From The Times of India, Delhi, Jan 12, 2009]

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