Feeds

Health watchdog issues toxic toothpaste alert

Diethylene glycol hits the UK

A new approach to endpoint data protection

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?