By LOUISE STORY and GERALDINE FABRIKANT
New York Times
The chemical, diethylene glycol, which is banned from certain ingestible items in the United States, was discovered in almost a million tubes of toothpaste last May and led to recalls in 34 countries. The chemical, commonly used in antifreeze and as a solvent, can lead to kidney damage or liver disease.The toothpaste ended up being distributed in the United States in prisons, luxury hotels, hospitals and discount stores. It was one of the earliest global alerts to broader manufacturing problems in China that allowed scores of tainted products, including toys, children’s jewelry and pet food, to end up on store shelves. The chemical in the toothpaste was used instead of the more expensive chemical glycerin.
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