Buyers in Australia and New Zealand have been warned to avoid purchasing Chinese toothpastes containing toxic ingredients.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, New Zealand health officials today published the names of 16 Chinese-made toothpaste products found to contain "unacceptable levels" of diethylene glycol.
AdvertisementDiethylene glycol is an industrial solvent used in paint and antifreeze, and can cause kidney and liver damage.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission spokeswoman Lin Enright said Australia had a ban in place on toothpaste containing 0.25 per cent of diethylene glycol.
Known suppliers had been advised of the ban and recalls of toothpastes with high levels of diethylene glycol had already taken place in Australia, she said.
But this includes only two of the 16 products identified as unsafe by New Zealand officials, the ACCC's product recall register shows.
These were the Tri Leaf Spearmint Toothpaste, recalled on August 14, and Excel Toothpaste, recalled in May.
Of the remaining nine products, Enright said it was difficult to confirm if they were being sold in Australia, because most toothpastes did not need to be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Consumer advocates last week called for an overhaul of Australia's product safety system, arguing a lack of integration was placing Australian consumers at risk of unsafe products.