Friday, November 23, 2007

Smile ... you're brushing with antifreeze

During one conversation last month, James mentioned that the jail hands out extremely cheap toothpaste with the brand name Amerfresh. This name sounded familiar, so when I got home I Googled it.

Turns out that Amerfresh toothpaste was pulled out of quite a few prisons and jails earlier this year, Spokane being one of the jails. Made in China, Amerfresh is light on the flouride, but heavy in diethylene glycol - aka antifreeze. The antifreeze is added because it tastes sweet, but is less expensive than other (safe) sweeteners.

Other contaminated toothpastes have odd-sounding names like Mr. Cool, and are found in dollar stores and similar places.

If you managed to ingest enough diethylene glycol, your liver and kidneys will shut down slowly but surely, which is a particularly nasty way to die. Vets sometimes see dogs and cats poisoned by antifreeze, as it tastes good, but just licking a puddle of the stuff is enough to kill.

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