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China probes ‘tainted’ toothpaste

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25.MAY.07

China says it is investigating reports that toothpaste contaminated with a potentially lethal chemical had been exported to Central America.

Thousands of tubes of Chinese-made toothpaste have been confiscated in Panama and the Dominican Republic.{{more}}

The toothpaste contains diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in engine coolants, authorities there say.

A series of scares over the safety of Chinese products have recently aroused global concern.

The Dominican Republic has banned the sale of two different brands of toothpaste, both of which were made in China and imported through Panama.

Panama removed the brands from shops last week after tests found they tested positive for the chemical.

Consumers in both countries have been advised not to use the products.

On Wednesday, the Chinese government said a joint team from several government agencies was conducting investigations in both Beijing and the eastern province Jiangsu, and that the results would be made public as soon as possible.

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