The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a news release advising consumers to avoid using tubes of toothpaste labeled as made in China and issued an import alert to prevent toothpaste containing the poisonous chemical diethylene glycol (DEG) from entering the United States. The information below is from the FDA news release.
DEG is used in antifreeze and as a solvent.
Consumers should examine toothpaste products for labeling that says the product is made in China. Out of an abundance of caution, FDA suggests that consumers throw away toothpaste with that labeling. FDA is concerned that these products may contain “diethylene glycol,” also known as “diglycol” or “diglycol stearate.”
FDA is not aware of any U.S. reports of poisonings from toothpaste containing DEG. However, the agency is concerned about potential risks from chronic exposure to DEG and exposure to DEG in certain populations, such as children and individuals with kidney or liver disease. DEG in toothpaste has a low but meaningful risk of toxicity and injury to these populations. Toothpaste is not intended to be swallowed, but FDA is concerned about unintentional swallowing or ingestion of toothpaste containing DEG.