Tom’s of Maine has become a popular brand among health-conscious individuals who have used their purchasing power to push Tom’s into even the most mainstream grocery stores. Unfortunately, it appears that most of these consumers are unaware of who owns and operates Tom’s, what toxic ingredients are often found in Tom’s products, and the overall deception regarding the Tom’s of Maine brand name.
In fact, Tom’s of Maine isn’t even from Maine, and it’s owned by a well-known corporate giant — Colgate-Palmolive of New York. Purchasing an 84% stake in Tom’s back in 2006 (yes, they have owned Tom’s since 2006!) for 100 million dollars, Colgate-Palmolive’s share of the global toothpaste market has risen to 44%. In the United States alone, Colgate-Palmolive controls 35% of the market. Unfortunately, part of the companies success relies on a patented gingivitis formula which contains a toxic chemical substance called triclosan that reacts with the chlorine in tap water to become chloroform — a deadly chlorinated aromatic.
Shockingly, the result of the reaction is similar to the dioxins found in the compound Agent Orange that was responsible for 400,000 people being killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth defects after being used in Vietnam by the U.S. military as a herbicide. This is the chemical reaction taking place in your mouth when using Colgate’s gingivitis formula. Interestingly enough, Agent Orange was developed by the biotech company responsible for the rampant genetic modification of the world’s food supply — Monsanto.
It gets worse. Triclosan is only one of the hazardous chemicals found in oral care products. One visit to the Tom’s of Maine official website and you will see the invitation to view all of their product ingredients, organized from A to Z. There is even a statement declaring that not only are all ingredients “naturally sourced,” but that they are “sustainable and responsible.” A look at the ingredients list, however, and you will find that Tom’s of Maine was not being very responsible or sustainable with ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc chloride added to their products.
Titanium dioxide is a nanoparticle powder made of fine titanium bits. While it is best known as a sunscreen ingredient, it is now on the ingredients list of countless products in the field of personal care and beyond. Titanium dioxide is even being used in lower-grade nutritional supplements such as Centrum. There has been research regarding the long-term effects of titanium dioxide, though scientists have begun speaking out against the potential side effects. According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, titanium dioxide may even be a human carcinogen:
Titanium dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen ”possibly carcinogen to humans”… This evidence showed that high concentrations of pigment-grade (powdered) and ultrafine titanium dioxide dust caused respiratory tract cancer in rats exposed by inhalation and intratracheal instillation*.
Zinc chloride is another threat to human health that sits on the Tom’s ingredients list. Believe it or not, zinc is labeled as environmentally toxic, harmful to human health, and corrosive according to the Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) — an educational reference for the toxicity of various chemicals.
Studies have even confirmed zinc chloride to be an extreme danger to living creatures. The intravenous LD50, which is the dose needed to kill 50% of the lab rats in the study, is only 3.7 mg per kilogram. Why is this in any personal care product?
It is clear that there are a number of harmful substances lurking in even the supposedly “healthy” personal care products that are sold as ‘all natural’ and ‘sustainable’ alternatives. Triclosan, titanium dioixde, and zinc chloride are only a few of the countless chemical contaminants that can be found in millions of products worldwide. Doing your own research is essential before buying a personal care product or anything else.
In addition, here is a list of toxic ingredients that you absolutely must avoid:
- Titanium dioxide
- Zinc chloride
- Bisphenol a (BPA)