Trail of Chinese Chemicals Leads to Toothpaste

Governments on two continents investigate tainted product
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2007 8:02 AM CDT
CHN: China Monitors Colgate Toothpaste Health Concerns   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The Dominican Republic is the latest country investigating the possibility that a poisonous chemical from China wound up in a consumer product. This time it's toothpaste that contains the industrial solvent diethylene glycol, which has already turned up in Panama and Australia, the Times reports. The Chinese government has tracked the toothpaste to factories in the Danyang region.

Diethylene glycol, a cheap but poisonous substitute for glycerin, killed 100 people last year when the Panamanian government unknowingly mixed it into cold medicine. In that case, the chemical was mislabeled; the toothpaste currently under scrutiny lists diethylene glycol as an ingredient. The Dominican government has seized the toothpaste, which included the children's product "Mr. Cool Junior."