Feeds

Health watchdog issues toxic toothpaste alert

Diethylene glycol hits the UK

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.