Don't brush your teeth

Yes, you heard me right. Don't even think about brushing your teeth, that is, if you have toothpaste that originated in China. The New York Times is reporting in today's paper that Chinese authorities are investigating whether two companies exported tainted toothpaste overseas.

No tainted toothpaste has been found in the United States, but a spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that the agency would be taking “a hard look” at whether to issue an import alert.

Authorities in the Dominican Republic said they seized 36,000 tubes of toothpaste suspected of containing diethylene glycol, an industrial solvent and prime ingredient in some antifreeze. Included were tubes of toothpaste marketed for children with bubble gum and strawberry flavors sold under the name of Mr. Cool Junior.

I guess Mr. Cool is not so cool after all. The article gets better. Apparently, people in the country of Panama are very familiar with the substance called diethylene glycol.
Diethylene glycol is the same poison that the Panamanian government unwittingly mixed into cold medicine last year, killing at least 100 people. In that case, the poison, falsely labeled as glycerin, a harmless syrup, originated in China, shipping records show. Diethylene glycol is generally less expensive than its chemical cousin glycerin.
Not to worry, US authorities are all over this situation and are giving brilliant insight on how children could possibly ingest poisonous toothpaste from China (allegedly).
Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director for the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the F.D.A., said diethylene glycol levels found in some Panamanian toothpaste were nearly 50 times what is deemed safe. “Kids swallow toothpaste,” Dr. Throckmorton said. “That is going to be a concern to you.”
Let this serve as a warning to all of you out there in blogland. In case you go to your local discount store and pharmacy and see that "Mr. Cool Junior" toothpaste on sale - think twice. Avoid the "good tasting" bubble gum and strawberry flavors - stick to the yucky stuff. It'll be safer for your kids. HA!