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Folks across the United States and the world are concerned about the cemicals used in common household products – like toothpaste. How do you make sure the product you are using won’t poison your family? Well, for one things – you better stay on top of the news and product alerts!

Due to recent concerns raised across the globe reagrding the safety of toothpaste made in China, the government of China annoucned a ban prohbiting manufacturers from making toothpaste with diethylene glycol, a poisonous industrial solvent used in some antifreeze. Apparently, this ban is the latest in a series of measures that the Chinese government has taken to reassure international consumers that their drug and food products are safe.

The chemical found in the toothpaste which has raised so much concern is called Diethylene glycol. Diethylene glycol is a cheaper substitute for glycerin. This product is commonly used as a thickening agent in toothpaste and in other drugs, food and household products.

The presence of diethylene glycol in Chinese toothpaste was first discovered two months ago in Panama, where at least 100 people died from using cold medicine laced with diethylene glycol. A state-owned Chinese exporter shipped the poison labeled as glycerin, and it was mixed into cold syrup. In recent weeks, countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia have seized Chinese toothpaste containing the toxic chemical. There have been a few isolated reports of consumers claiming to have been harmed by the toothpaste, but none have been confirmed.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Defective and Dangerous Products.

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