Sunday, July 8, 2007

Imported toothpastes from China

Imported toothpastes from China contain highly toxic levels of a sweet-tasting chemical called di-ethylene glycol (DEG) that's commonly used in antifreezes, brake fluids, and as a commercial solvent.

WHY should this be so alarming (aside from the obvious). It's because DEG has been pinpointed as the major cause of an astounding number of deaths and poisonings in the last century. Here's a summary of just a few of the most egregious examples:

* 1937: 107 Americans perished after taking sulfanilamide (anti-bacterial agents) dissolved in diethylene glycol. This tragedy was the driving force behind 1938s Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of Congress.

* 1990: 339 Bangladeshi children suffered kidney failure, again at the hands of an analgesic syrup laced with DEG. Most of them died as a result.

* 1996: 85 children died in Haiti from a glycerin-based analgesic syrup contaminated with DEG - the suspect glycerin was supplied by a company that obtained it from a manufacturer in China. Similar deaths have been reported in South Africa, India, Nigeria, Argentina, and Panama.

* 2006: 46 deaths from renal failure, paralysis and other causes are linked to DEG by Panama's Ministry of Health and the CDC. The source of the contamination was a Chinese company that sold DEG wrongly labeled as pharmaceutical grade glycerin - which the Panamanian government had used as a main ingredient in over a quarter-million bottles of cold medicine.

Of course, the Chinese government isn't copping to any culpability in these documented mass slaughters. Nor are they admitting to guilt in this latest toothpaste/DEG scandal.

In fact, quite the opposite - just days ago (June 4, 2007), their Foreign Ministry issued a press release stating that their own state-run studies indicate that as much as 15.6% DEG is perfectly safe in toothpastes.

Thankfully, FDA guidelines for Americans' safe ingestion stipulate that NO DEG be allowed in any consumable product. I know I'm a huge critic of theirs more often than not - but I have to think that even in spite of their flaws (including allowing Chinese toothpastes to be sold in the U.S.), they're looking out for us better than China's government is looking out for those poor people.

A recent Reuters Health online article maintains that in the People's Republic of China, as many as 10,000 children are rendered deaf each year.

From the improper or excessive use of prescription antibiotics.

Few people realize (especially here in the U.S.), that antibiotic drugs can have negative side effects - sometimes permanent ones, and especially when overused. Among these can be varying degrees of hearing loss, up to and including total deafness.

And according to the Reuters piece, Chinese doctors routinely over-prescribe the newest and most powerful versions of antibiotic drugs for everything from a hangnail on up - largely because of kickbacks they get from "middlemen" for drug makers!

Here's how big the problem is: A Chinese newspaper that broke the story cites their official state sources for the article as claiming that 25% of antibiotic prescriptions in the People's Republic were baseless.

And in a country as populous as China, that equates to a lot of needless harm.

0 comments on "Imported toothpastes from China"


Mom of Many Redheads Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Baby Blog Designed by Ipiet | All Image Presented by Tadpole's Notez