The Korea Herald


Authorities discover over 100 toothpastes containing toxic chemicals

By 줄리 잭슨 (Julie Jackson)

Published : Sept. 30, 2016 - 19:58

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Health authorities said Friday they've discovered more than 100 toothpastes containing the same chemicals used in the toxic humidifier sterilizers, though their miniscule amounts pose no harm.

   The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it has detected chloro-methylisothiazolinone (CMIT) and methylisothiazolinone (MIT) in 149 products by 10 manufacturers. The ministry reviewed toothpastes by 68 makers.

   CMIT/MIT were used in the controversial humidifier sterilizers that have been linked to more than 200 deaths here.

   Earlier in the week, the ministry ordered the recall of 25 toothpastes by two manufacturers for their CMIT/MIT content.

   Some of the recalled toothpastes were included in the 149 products that the ministry announced Friday.

   The ministry said these recalled toothpastes contained 0.0022-0.0044 ppm of CMIT/MIT, far below Europe's maximum permissible level of 15 ppm, though they pose no significant health risks as consumers rinse it with water. The ministry also said the products it announced Friday contain only tiny amounts of the substances.

   Under local regulations, up to 15 ppm of CMIT/MIT are allowed in wash-off type products, such as shampoo and body wash, but they are banned in "quasi-drugs," including toothpaste and mouthwash.

   In addition to toothpastes, the ministry is also going over air fresheners, insect repellents and preservatives for CMIT/MIT content. (Yonhap)