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Toothpaste :: Rhode Island Department of Health advising not to use certain toothpaste

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) is issuing an advisory to consumers not to use:

Any toothpaste labeled ?Made in China? (see FDA URL below for list of suspect brands)

Any counterfeit toothpaste labeled ?Colgate? that is manufactured in South Africa, and

Any toothpaste without English language labeling (such products violate federal labeling laws)

In recent weeks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified a number of instances of contaminated toothpastes that were imported and sold in the United States. Toothpaste from China and counterfeit Colgate toothpaste may contain diethylene glycol (DEG), a chemical used in antifreeze. The FDA recently released an advisory to consumers and issued an Import Alert to prevent suspect toothpaste from entering the United States.

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued an advisory indicating that the suspect toothpaste was found in several Massachusetts communities?mostly in dollar-type discount stores. As a precaution, HEALTH?s Office of Food Protection sent inspectors out this morning to a sample of discount stores across the state (Only a Dollar, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Job Lot, and Building 19). Two of the brands in question, Dentakleen and Dentakleen Jr. Brand were found at Building 19. The product has since been pulled from the shelf.

Neither HEALTH nor the FDA is aware of any reports of poisonings from toothpaste containing DEG in Rhode Island or nationally. However, there may be potential risks from long-term use of these products and exposure to DEG in certain populations, such as children and individuals with kidney or liver disease. Toothpaste is not intended to be swallowed, but the FDA?s advisories raise concerns about unintentional swallowing or ingestion of toothpaste containing DEG.

Toothpaste Made in China

Consumers should throw away or return any toothpaste that says the product is ?Made in China.? FDA has identified a wide variety of suspect toothpaste from China. Some of the brands include: Cooldent, Dentakleen, Dentakleen Junior, Dr. Cool, Everfresh Toothpaste, Superdent and Oral Bright.

For an updated, comprehensive list of the other prohibited toothpastes from China, as well as more information about this recall, visit the FDA website at: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01646.html

Counterfeit Colgate

Consumers should also not consume counterfeit Colgate toothpaste that was not made in the US. The counterfeit product is packaged in a 5 ounce (or 100 ml.) package in a box labeled ?Colgate Toothpaste.? Discrepancies noted on the product may include misspelled words on the label or tape on the ends of the box. It is labeled as manufactured by Colgate Palmolive – South Africa. Colgate does not import into the United States toothpaste that was manufactured in South Africa.

Colgate has also reported that they do not manufacture a 5 ounce (or 100 ml.) size tube for sale in the United States. The Colgate toll-free consumer information line for questions or concerns is (800) 468-6502.

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