Why does my toothpaste carry a poison warning?

Updated: Mar 21, 2019

All rights reserved © 2012, 2019 Louis Antonio Abate, D.C.

Last week as I was going about my evening ablution, I glanced down at the tube of toothpaste and lazily began reading it.

Imagine my surprise to see a poison warning label on it.  For those who don’t know your toothpaste carries the following warning: “WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age.  If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed get medical help immediately or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” You are also advised: “Do Not Swallow, Supervise children as necessary until capable of using without supervision.”

I thought the warning came about a few years ago when the FDA issued warnings about counterfeit Colgate-Palmolive toothpastes being illegally imported from China and infiltrating discount stores in the US.

However, I discovered that since the middle of 1997 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated all toothpastes containing fluoride carry this warning.  This means the FDA now considers fluoride toothpaste as a potentially toxic drug.