Massachusetts issues tainted toothpaste warning
Same day Massachusetts warns that tubes labeled 'Made in China' or counterfeit Colgate-labeled tubes made in South Africa potentially harmful.
BOSTON (CNN) -- The Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued an advisory Friday, the same day Panama announced that hundreds of poisoning cases were linked to diethylene glycol.
Massachusetts warned consumers to not use the following potentially harmful toothpastes:
- Any toothpaste labeled "Made in China"
- Any toothpaste labeled "Colgate" that is manufactured in South Africa
- And any toothpaste without English-language labeling.
The warning came on the same day that officials in Panama said they had recorded 540 cases of poisoning linked to toothpaste and other health products in that country.
Dimas Guevara, a special Panamanian prosecutor, said 83 deaths had been linked to diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze, which was in the products.
Massachusetts Health officials pointed to the same chemical, saying toothpastes from China and other counterfeit Colgate (down $0.11 to $65.94, Charts, Fortune 500) toothpastes sold in Massachusetts may contain diethylene glycol.
Suspect toothpastes were located mainly in small and discount-type stores from Boston to some western suburbs, the agency said.
Although the warning is being issued, Massachusetts health officials said they are not aware of any poisonings.
In Panama, Guevara said 15 people had been indicted so far in connection with tainted toothpaste and other health products produced in Panama.
He said four categories of products were found to be contaminated - cough syrup, toothpaste, calamine lotion and a drug called deifreidamina. He said the products were only available in Panama and there were no exports.