Home  |  News  |  Events  |  Contact  |  Publications  |  City of Cambridge


FDA Issues Toothpaste Warning

June 20, 2007

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has issued two warnings this month about certain toothpastes manufactured in China and South Africa that may contain a toxic chemical called diethylene glycol (DEG).

In the U.S., these products are typically being sold at "dollar-type" discount stores, convenience stores, and small food markets.

Suspect tubes of toothpaste have reportedly been found in Somerville and Sturbridge, as well as in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida.

As of June 8, there were no U.S. reports of poisonings from toothpaste containing DEG.  The chemical, which is commonly found in antifreeze, is sometimes used illegally as an inexpensive sweetener and thickening agent.

Cambridge residents should throw away or return to the store for refund:

1) Any toothpaste labeled as "Made in China."

2)  Any fake “Colgate” toothpaste, which is: 
• Labeled as "Manufactured in South Africa"
• A 5-oz. or 100 ml tube
• Contains misspelled words on the label, including "South African Dental Assoxiation," "SOUTH AFRLCA,” and "isclinically"


Suzy Feinberg, MPH
Public Information Officer

Show releases from: 


Cambridge Public Health Department
119 Windsor Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-665-3826 (main)
617-665-3800 (main)
617-665-3888 (fax)
617-643-0744 (TTY)

Hours: Monday-Friday:
8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
After Hours

Map | Directory

Public Records 

Claude-Alix Jacob
Chief Public Health Officer



Cambirdge Health Alliance

Cambridge City
City of Cambridge