Monday, June 18, 2007

Toxic Tooth Paste

Months ago I was bored and spent time accidentally locked in a bathroom for a very brief period of time. During that time I absently decided to read a warning label on the back of a toothpaste tube. As expected many laughed at my post. I was a little surprised by the warning that said "Do Not Swallow". This was on the back of my daughter's toothpaste which was marketed for toddlers and children. To me it seemed impossible for a toddler to not swallow at least some of the toothpaste while brushing their teeth. I can recall many times when I did it as a child instead of spitting it out in the sink. I even recall swallowing toothpaste as an adult when unexpected guests arrived and I was all out of mints. I would place a small dab on my tongue, close my mouth and rub it all over my tongue and swallow. It never occurred to me until that silly day I was stuck in the bathroom randomly reading the back of a tube of toothpaste.

When I was freed from the hotel bathroom and returned safely home I decided to post it on my blog. Apparently the amount of toothpaste ingested has a lot to do with it and my friend the Curmudgeon pointed out it would take a sufficient amount of regular toothpaste. I was relieved.

Today when I went to read my email I came across this article by Aarthi Sivaraman....

Two residents of the New York City borough of Staten Island who said they had used the counterfeit toothpaste were hospitalized, the Staten Island Advance newspaper reported.

The FDA traced the counterfeit toothpaste to New Jersey distributor MS USA Trading Inc., Arbesfeld said.

On Thursday, Colgate reported finding phony "Colgate" toothpaste in discount stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The counterfeit toothpaste may contain the toxic chemical diethylene glycol, or DEG, and is labeled as being manufactured in South Africa. It comes in a 5-ounce (100 ml) tube, a size Colgate does not make or sell in the United States, the company said.
The chemical is sometimes illegally used as an inexpensive sweetener and thickening agent. It is also found in solvents and antifreeze.

DEG-contaminated toothpaste has been seized in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Nicaragua. The sweet substance, sometimes used as a substitute for glycerin, was found in cough syrup in Panama that led to the deaths of at least 100 people last year.

MS USA is recalling all lots of 5-ounce Colgate toothpaste tubes it distributed to discount retail stores in the four states, according to a statement. MS USA could not be reached for additional comment.

Consumers can identify the counterfeit product by the size as well as the label tracing it to South Africa, Colgate said. In addition, there are misspellings on the package including "SOUTH AFRLCA" and "isclinically," Colgate said.
Two weeks ago the FDA warned consumers to avoid any toothpaste made in China after its inspectors found DEG in tubes sold at two stores. It also issued an import alert to prevent all toothpaste from three Chinese companies that make brands found to contain DEG from entering the United States.

More information about the toothpaste products in question can be found on the FDA's web site

Check your toothpaste. If I do not hear from you or see you writing a new entry in your blog I might feel the need to call the FDA. "Fake Colgate has attacked my friend! Send Help!!"


Lahdeedah said...

Fake colgate!

Always be sure to get your toothpaste from a reputable dealer.

Pageant Mom said...

I PUH-ROM-ISSS it wasn't any sort of bad toothpaste that waylaid me!!!

Go figure, fake toothpaste!!! blee-yechh!! Could it really be THAT much cheaper?

MommasWorld said...

Hip Hurray!! I was wondering where the heck you went off to Pageant Mom. I was afraid you might have packed the bad travel size toothpaste. Great to hear from you!

Glad Lahdeedah is ok too!!