China Cuts Back on Antifreeze in Toothpaste

Importers risk frozen smiles

Inebriated Press
July 30, 2007

China has banned diethylene glycol (DEG) — a chemical agent found in antifreeze — from use in toothpaste.  In recent weeks Chinese toothpaste made with the toxic substance (which can cause kidney failure, paralysis and death) has been pulled from stores in North and South America, Europe and Asia.  China decided if that’s the way buyers were going to behave then they’d ban the antifreeze ingredient and let the world risk frozen teeth. 

DEG is used in China as a low-cost substitute for glycerin, a sweetener commonly found in drugs, food, toothpaste and other products.  China’s official stance is that toothpaste with antifreeze is safe: “Long-term use of toothpaste containing DEG will not have a negative health impact on humans,” the administration said. “Not one Chinese has reported their death from DEG toothpaste.”

Eskimo’s are panicking over the change.  “How will I keep my teeth from freezing,” asked Chemo Downer, of Anchorage, Alaska.  “I count on the Chinese to protect my smile.  Looks like I’m screwed.” 

American party goers are also wary.  “How many times haven’t we all tried to dodge people with frozen smiles headed our way at dinner parties,” said Maine socialite Andrea Glade.  “We’re facing a pretty scary prospect here.”

Hollywood plastic surgeons have reported a surge in phone calls from actresses wanting to know how quickly they can increase their breast sizes.  “They’re worried about people noticing their frozen teeth,” said Lemmie Plumpim, a silicon specialist.  “They want to distract people from looking at their mouths.”

In other news, China reports that preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics are going well and that food safety concerns have pretty much “died out”.

© 2007 Inebriated Press

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