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In Brief: Alcohol in mouthwash

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Alcohol in mouthwash: FDA's Dental Products Panel Plaque Subcommittee unanimously agreed on June 6 that alcohol use in mouthwashes is safe, stating that "the present data, as it exists today, and the information relative to the interpretation of those studies that we heard today, do alleviate our previous concerns about the safety of those alcohol-containing mouth rinses as presently formulated." The panel added, however, that further research is encouraged. At the session, a reanalysis of the 1991 National Cancer Institute study linking alcohol content in mouthwash to cancer was presented by Philip Cole, MD, University of Alabama, on behalf of CTFA and NDMA. Cole said his reanalysis minimized the odds ratio for cancer from alcohol-containing mouthwash. In a second industry-sponsored presentation, Gary Williams, MD, American Health Foundation, discounted the possibility that ethanol causes local cancers from topical application as opposed to systemic exposure...
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