Although toothpastes are considered as topical cosmetics that are not normally ingested, it is evident that they may contribute to the introduction of heavy metals and xenobiotics through buccal and gastrointestinal absorption. The purpose of this study was to determine the potential presence of metals and polyphenols in conventional, children’s and herbal toothpastes. Metal analysis was conducted by using the Microwave Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometer and the total polyphenolic content was determined by using the Folin–Ciocalteu test. Results showed that cadmium and mercury were absent in all toothpastes while zinc and tin exhibited high values. This was because the latter two metals are incorporated as part of the ingredients. In the case of polyphenols, the highest value was obtained in one of the samples from the children’s toothpaste category while the lowest value was obtained from the conventional toothpaste category. Lead and nickel were two other metals that fell outside the limits for EU and US standards. Most of these limits are usually applicable to topical cosmetic products or food products. However, these may not adequately cover oral hygiene products, such as toothpastes.
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