Toothpaste containing more than 0.25 per cent by weight of diethylene glycol (DEG) is banned in Australia. Medium to long-term exposure to DEG at significant levels may create unacceptable health risks.
About diethylene glycol
DEG is a toxic substance used by some overseas manufacturers as a replacement for glycerine in toothpaste.
Risks and injuries
Medium to long-term exposure to DEG at significant levels may create unacceptable health risks. Children or individuals with kidney or liver disease are at particular risk of illness from ingesting DEG, as DEG poisoning may cause kidney and liver failure.
Symptoms of DEG poisoning include:
- inability to pass urine
- renal failure
- kidney failure
- liver failure.
- Before purchasing toothpaste, check the ingredients on the packaging to ensure there is no more than 0.25 per cent by weight of DEG in the toothpaste.