Health Canada is warning Canadians not to use Neem Active Toothpaste with Calcium, manufactured by Calcutta Chemical Co. Ltd. in India and found on the Canadian market, because it has been found to contain unacceptable levels of diethylene glycol (DEG).
DEG is a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze and as a solvent. It may cause nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness, urinary problems, kidney failure, breathing problems, lethargy, convulsions, coma and even death when ingested.
While toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed, it is often swallowed by young children. The potential health risks from chronic exposure to DEG are a particular concern in specific vulnerable populations such as children and consumers with kidney or liver disease.
This warning follows previous warnings from Health Canada about Chinese toothpastes with DEG.
Neem Active Toothpaste with Calcium has been found in several stores in Western and Atlantic Canada, but may also be available in stores across the country. Health Canada is taking steps to ensure that the products are taken off the market.
Neem Active Toothpaste with Calcium is not approved for sale in Canada. Fluoride-containing toothpastes that have been approved for sale in Canada will contain either an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN) or a Natural Product Number (NPN).
Consumers in possession of this toothpaste are advised to discontinue use immediately and ensure that these products remain out of the reach of children. Consumers should return the product to the store they bought it from. To date, Health Canada has not received any adverse reaction reports of DEG toxicity related to Neem Active Toothpaste with Calcium. The product is not authorized for sale by Health Canada. Health Canada is in the process of testing other unauthorized toothpastes and will update the public as information becomes available.
Consumers requiring more information about this advisory can contact Health Canada?s public enquiries line at (613) 957-2991, or toll free at 1-866-225-0709.
To report a suspected adverse reaction to this health product, please contact the Canadian Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Program (CADRMP) of Health Canada by one of the following methods:
Marketed Health Products Directorate
Ottawa, ON, AL 0701C