Health Canada's Investigation Into Toothpaste Containing Diethylene Glycol
There have been a number of international warnings and product recalls involving toothpaste manufactured in China and elsewhere that may contain diethylene glycol (DEG), an ingredient used in antifreeze and as a solvent.
Health Canada is monitoring these recall notices and the actions of other regulators, and is taking steps to ascertain whether any of the products found or suspected to contain DEG elsewhere are present on the Canadian market.
Health Canada is looking into reports of toothpaste products similar to ones warned about by other regulators being found in Canadian stores. If Health Canada's investigation uncovers any toothpaste that poses a potential health risk to Canadians, then the Department will inform Canadians and take appropriate regulatory action. To date, no toothpaste that is approved for sale in Canada has been involved in any recall action, and we have not confirmed at this time the presence of DEG in any toothpaste found on the Canadian market. As new information becomes available, updates will be provided. A customs alert has been issued to the Canada Border Services Agency to stop any shipments of toothpaste originating from China from entering Canada.
Fluoride-containing toothpaste that has been approved for sale in Canada will contain either an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN) or a Natural Product Number (NPN).
DEG is a highly toxic organic solvent that may cause nausea, dizziness, kidney failure, breathing problems, convulsions and even coma when ingested. The potential health risks from chronic exposure to DEG are a particular concern in specific vulnerable populations such as children and consumers with kidney or liver disease.
Consumers who have recently purchased toothpaste while traveling abroad, or who may have imported toothpaste for personal use, should check the product against the most recent advisories from regulators in the U.S., Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong: