The Food and Drug Administration is investigating claims that toothpaste made in China have been laced with high dose of the chemical diethyl glycol and sold in the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Australia. The chemical is used in engine coolants but can also be used as a thickening agent as a low-cost substitute for glycerin. It is permitted in Chinese products in small amounts, but diethyl glycol was said to be the cause of 51 deaths in Panama after being used in cough syrup. Of course, toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed like cough syrup, but this still causes concern for health officials all over the country, especially since two brands of toothpaste were illegally imported from China through a free trade zone. The brands “Excel” and “Mr. Cool” were intercepted by authorities in the Dominican Republic after they discovered non-lethal but present traces of diethyl glycol.

So far, there is no sign that Chinese-made toothpaste has been imported to the U.S. though U.S. health officials are checking all shipments of toothpaste from China.

Chen Yaozu,general manager of Danyang Chengshi Household Chemical Co., may be responsible for the contamination, but he claims the product is safe. Journalists have attempted to contact other toothpaste brands to get a comment about the safety of their toothpaste as it has not been determined which products are made in China. The makers of Colgate and Crest toothpaste claim that their toothpaste does not import from China which the makers of Rembrandt and Aquafresh could not be reached.

 

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