Feeds

Health watchdog issues toxic toothpaste alert

Diethylene glycol hits the UK

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) yesterday issued a health warning that fake 50ml tubes of Sensodyne Original and Sensodyne Mint containing "toxic levels of...diethylene glycol" may have found their way into consumers' bathrooms via "markets or car boot sales".

The MHRA said: "The fake toothpastes are in combined Arabic and English livery with a batch code 'PROD 07 2005 / EXP 08 / 2008'. Genuine GlaxoSmithKline Sensodyne packs are in English livery only with no Arabic text." It notes the toothpaste is not available in "legitimate retail outlets such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and general stores".

The MHRA warning comes after recent diethylene glycol scares in Panama and Nicaragua. In both cases, the offending products were Chinese "Excel" and "Mr Cool" toothpastes containing the potentially-toxic chemical.

As a result of mounting pressure to clean up its act, China earlier this week banned the use of diethylene glycol in toothpastes. A statement on the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine website announced on Wednesday: "From today onwards, toothpaste manufacturers are not allowed to use diethylene glycol as an ingredient."

Diethylene glycol is commonly used as a cheap substitute for glycerine, but its ingestion can have serious consequences. In 1995-6, 85 Haitian children who drank a paracetamol syrup containing contaminated glycerine died after suffering "nonspecific febrile prodromal illness followed within two weeks by anuric renal failure, pancreatitis, hepatitis, and neurologic dysfunction progressing to coma".

In 1990, a similar product claimed 339 Bangladeshi children, while last year a cough syrup which used diethylene glycol as the suspension agent did for 50 Panamanians. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?
Two places available in the chase plane above the desert
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.