Tainted toothpaste found in city stores

Counterfeit Colgate could be health risk

June 16, 2007|By Alia Malik | Alia Malik,Sun reporter

After finding potentially toxic toothpaste in eight Baltimore stores, city health officials yesterday urged residents to check their Colgate toothpaste for signs that it might be counterfeit.

"There's no question that counterfeit and potentially tainted toothpaste is here in Baltimore," Assistant Commissioner of Environmental Health Olivia D. Farrow said in a statement.

Counterfeit Colgate toothpaste containing diethylene glycol, a substance used in antifreeze, has also been found in the Dollar Power Store in Silver Spring and in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Food and Drug Administration issued a national warning yesterday against using the toothpaste, saying it is being sold in discount stores and could be unhealthy.

In Baltimore, the counterfeit toothpaste was found in the following stores:

Dollar Discount, 5455 Reisterstown Road

D.J. Liquidator, 3825 Bank St.

K & H Grocery, 1700 N. Fulton Ave.

Crazy Market, 1705 Pennsylvania Ave.

R&M Bargain Store, 2223 E. Monument St.

Beauty Point, 1727 Pennsylvania Ave.

EZ Dollar, 2401 Belair Road

Best Market, 601 Edgewood St.

The counterfeit toothpaste has been found in tubes that read, "Manufactured in South Africa," but Colgate said it does not make toothpaste in South Africa.

Consumers should also avoid buying toothpaste marked with sizes of 100 ml or 5 oz. amounts not sold in the U.S. market, the city health department said.

Counterfeit toothpaste tubes also contain misspellings, including "shoild" instead of should, "Coigate" instead of Colgate and "South Afrlca" instead of "South Africa," the health department said.

The FDA is also warning consumers not to use toothpaste made in China. Diethylene glycol in toothpaste sold in Panama was traced to China last month.

Consumers who have questions or think they might have bought counterfeit toothpaste should call Colgate at 1-800-468-6502.

alia.malik@baltsun.com

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