Alcohol in Mouthwash Linked to Cancer

Posted on Jan 19, 2009 in Cancer

Independent experts in Australia have called on the government to pull certain mouthwashes from store shelves after a study found that washes that contain alcohol may cause oral cancer.
The Daily Telegraph in Australia has the full story. The study appeared in the Dental Journal of Australia.
Alcohol in mouthwash appears to make it easier for cancer-causing substances to penetrate the lining of the mouth, the newspaper said.
The study could affect sales of Listerine, Australia’s most popular mouthwash, which contains up to 26 percent alcohol, according to the Telegraph.
Michael McCullough, the study’s lead author, told the newspaper that such mouthwash should come with health warnings and be available only with a prescription.
An official with the Cancer Council of New South Wales, a charity, said the link sounded “interesting,” but more research is needed.