According to an Australian, using mouthwash is as dangerous as heavy drinking, smoking, or chewing asbestos. Professor Michael McCullough, who reviewed past studies on oral cancer, concluded that mouthwash is fatally dangerous and should carry health warnings and hazardous material stickers warning unwitting consumers of the carcinogenic properties of "tramps' favourites" such as Listerine and Dentyl PH.
McCullough, a halitosis sufferer, said: 'We believe there should be warnings. If it was a facial cream that had the effect of reducing acne but had a four-to-five-fold increased risk of skin cancer, no one would be recommending it.' The alcohol in mouthwash is dangerous because it allows cancer-causing substances such as nicotine to penetrate the lining of the mouth more easily and cause harm, and smokers and alcoholics who use mouthwash are more likely to contract oral cancer.
This, obviously, is the fault of the mouthwash rather than the fags and booze.
McCullough went on to helpfully highlight the difference between mouthwash and alcoholic drinks such as lager and Babycham: 'The most significant difference is that one is for pleasure and the other is being recommended as a health product.'
Despite a panoply of scientists queueing up to criticise McCullough's findings, one newspaper decided that it was beyond any doubt that all mouthwashes cause oral cancer in all cases and cited 'experts' who agreed. It is unclear who the experts who agreed with McCullough are, but it is thought that they wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals from powerful mouthwash cartels - known as 'Big Mouthwash' in some countries.
* Update *
If you were in any doubt as to the veracity of Prof. McCullough's claims, don't be. The London Metro agrees that mouthwash is cancerous - although their front page headline is irresponsibly less sensationalist than The Mail's, leading some critics to question their commitment to scaring readers.
'Mouthwash "can raise cancer risk"'