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Tue 9 Oct 2007 12:22 PM

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Toxic toothpaste banned in UAE

Gov't orders eight brands of Chinese toothpaste off store shelves for containing a toxic chemical.

The UAE has ordered eight brands of Chinese toothpaste off store shelves in the Emirates because they have been found to contain a toxic chemical.

The Ministry of Economy said tests showed traces of diethylene glycol (DEG) in toothpastes from the brands Cleanup, Best, Smile2, Akura2, Shine, Special 2, Zain and Moonlight, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

DEG is a poisonous chemical that is not allowed in food and drugs because of its toxicity to humans and animals.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is used in antifreeze, coolants and solvents.

Last month, Saudi Arabian authorities seized 1,800 tubes of Chinese toothpaste after fears emerged that they contained ingredients that might cause cancer.

The kingdom’s Ministry of Health ordered raids of Chinese alternative health centres in Makkah to confiscate the toothpaste. During the raids, officials also seized 850 packs of herbal mixtures and 450 packs of ointments, according to a report in the Saudi Gazette.

The ban on Chinese toothpaste is the latest in a spate of recent recalls of Chinese-manufactured products that have sparked concern over the quality of products made in the country.

Last month the UAE recalled a brand of Chinese-manufactured kitchenware found to contain traces of a carcinogen - a cancer-causing substance - from store shelves.

US toymaker Mattel has also made three recent recalls of Chinese-made toys, saying it would take back more than 800,000 units globally that contain "impermissible" levels of lead.

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