UPDATE: before you even read this, know that the whole reason this was written was my Son had a BLL (blood lead level) of 2, at the age of 3, after ~18 months of using Earthpaste & Poofy Organics bentonite-based toothpastes. WELL, my daughter, who has never used ANY toothpaste, came back with a BLL of 3 at the age of 1…. I’ve heard from SEVERAL parents who have had their kiddos tested, who’ve only ever used E.paste and/or Poofy, and they have not had elevated levels. It’s a very complex issue, but I’m back to believing that there is no risk involved in using a bentonite based toothpaste. That being said, read on…. 🙂
UPDATE #2, 5/3/16: Both of my kiddos had a vein draw lead test, my 5 year old came back less than 1, my 3 year old ~1. All they’ve ever used for toothpaste has been bentonite-based from Poofy and Earthpaste. And I’ve heard from numerous, numerous others who’ve had test results of less than 1 as well, and who’ve only used bentonite-based as well….
As you all know (or most of you) I’ve been a very firm supporter of Earthpaste & Poofy Organics toothpaste for almost 2 years now. It’s the only toothpaste my Son (now 3) has used, other than a toothpowder for a few months before discovering these other toothpastes that I consider to be a fabulous alternative to fluoride, SLS, titanium dioxide- laden alternatives. Honestly, when I 1st started using them I wasn’t aware of the lead in the clay issue. Had I looked at the elemental analysis of the clay provided by Earthpaste on their website I would’ve seen that yes, it does contain lead, also aluminum, and a host of other elements as it’s gathered from within the earth. The research I did after learning that info all pointed to the fact that these elements were not absorbed by our body, and whole books have been written about how fabulous the clay is, and those who’d taken it as supplements did not have high levels of the elements that would indicate cause for concern. In the recent months Earthpaste has added a Prop 65 warning label, required by the state of CA (although Poofy doesn’t have one), which has resulted in many concerned emails from those new to it. Once everyone reads the info on why the label is there, just about everyone continues to use it without much concern (the explanation here: http://www.earthpaste.com/prop65/). Then someone shared this post by Lead Free America with me (http://leadsafeamerica.org/earthpaste/). Tamara calls out Earthpaste as one of the worst Greenwashers on the market, and you all know I don’t take greenwashing lightly & am on a mission to out green washers myself! You really need to read it for yourself, as well as the comments below, from Redmond, many from myself (both Jessica Brandt & Jess B are me) & from Tamara.
So, after reading her concerns I decided to have my Son tested. He was tested at 1 year & came back with a level 1 which I was told was great, and no concern. We hadn’t been back in since that time, and as I said he’s been using these toothpastes since he was ~18 months old. Also, as many kids do, he eats the stuff right off the brush, sometimes even squirting it right in his mouth from the tube. This never concerned me since all the info I can find on bentonite clay is that it’s great for you. So, the results…. After a year & a half of use, his level is up to a 2, which my doc said should be of no concern and was just fine. Yes, it did go up from a 1-2, but according to everything I’ve read, above 4 is start to be cause for concern, and after doing my own research I found this info which let me know the range can go up to 45 or more and in the 70’s-80’s limits were around 60 (to stay under)! Of course, when we know better, we do better, and there were many issues with levels that high & that is certainly off the charts in our day. This document says at a 0-4 there is very little lead in your system, and 2 is the average, above 10 requiring action: (https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2526.pdf). The CDC states that above a 5 is concerning, that used to be above a 10 (http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/ACCLPP/blood_lead_levels.htm). “In the past, blood lead level tests below 10 micrograms per deciliter of lead in blood may, or may not, have been reported to parents. The new, lower value means that more children likely will be identified as having lead exposure allowing parents, doctors, public health officials, and communities to take action earlier to reduce the child’s future exposure to lead. What has not changed is the recommendation for when to use medical treatment for children. These new recommendations do not change the recommendation that chelation therapy be considered when a child is found with a test result of greater than or equal to 45 micrograms per deciliter of lead in blood. ” (http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/acclpp/lead_levels_in_children_fact_sheet.pdf) So, nothing to worry about, right?! Well, not according to Tamara, from Lead Safe America. If you read the comments below her main post, she says I should be concerned with a 2. Here’s her most concerning (to me) comment: “Hi Jessica – 2 is not normal unfortunately – but many think it is. Natural pre-industrial level is a BLL of 0.016. For a child to have a BLL 2 that indicates a specific source of exposure in my book. I tested the redmond clay samples last week and they came in between 3 and 15 ppm, food items are considered toxic at parts per billion and even 3 ppm is not safe. Very not safe. Here’s an article about how a BLL 2 can impact a child. Please seriously consider not using this product anymore. Especially if you live in a newer or lead-safe home – it could be that this is his primary source of exposure. http://www.precaution.org/…/prn_low_level_lead.070712.htm” Her Son has damage from high levels of lead in his past, so I completely understand her mission to inform us & warn us of the dangers of lead. While I continue to research this myself I want to hear from you. What do you know about a level 2, does/would it concern you? Has your child been tested ever- especially interested in those testing after using Earthpaste or any clay based products being ingested?!
Again, I’ve researched this quite extensively & can’t find anything but fabulous remarks about clay being used, many take it as an oral supplement to improve gut health, like probiotics. At this time, we are continuing to use & love our Earthpaste & Poofy Organics (the only certified organic toothpaste made in the US). BUT, I feel this is a decision everyone needs to come to on their own, as with ANY other product. You need to be informed to make that decision, and I want to help facilitate getting ALL the info out there. I am not an expert in this area. If you are concerned, I’d suggest looking into some of the toothpowders available. Jack & Jill is a non-clay based option (made in Australia), but the research I’ve done points to it’s main ingredient, silica, being highly abrasive & to be avoided. I plan to re-test my Son in 6 months, and if the number rises more, I will re-evaluate my use of clay based products. FOLLOW UP: https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2014/07/22/what-ive-learned-about-lead/ PLEASE, share your feedback below, or in the FB thread we have started here: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=912142638801377&id=397517646930548 FB thread #2: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=912313912117583&id=397517646930548 FB thread #3: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=915541588461482&id=397517646930548
I’ve learned so much about lead since this post, you can read about many important issues here: https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2014/07/22/what-ive-learned-about-lead/