SINGAPORE: A random sample of 20 toothpastes sold in Singapore have been found safe for use, after a product test commissioned by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) was carried out.
CASE commissioned a test on the toothpastes for two substances, diethylene glycol and fluoride, which could be harmful to people, the consumer interest organisation said in a media release on Monday (Oct 16).
When asked about why tests were done and whether there were reports of toothpastes exceeding safety limits, CASE said it conducts several tests on consumer products every year to ensure quality and safety standards.
"This year, we decided to look into products that were commonly used or consumed by consumers in their daily lives such as toothpastes," said CASE's executive director Loy York Jun.
The two substances were selected because of the "potential risks they posed for consumers should they be detected and/or exceed the permissible level".
Severe exposure to diethylene glycol has been associated with renal disorders, according to CASE.
It added that excessive levels of fluoride in toothpastes have been associated with symptoms such as tooth discolouration, especially for children, and the risk of bone fractures.
Under the Association of South-east Asian Nations Cosmetic Directive, diethylene glycol is prohibited as an ingredient in toothpastes, while fluoride content is allowed up to a maximum of 0.15 per cent (when mixed with other fluorine compounds permitted under the directive, total fluoride concentration must not exceed 0.15 per cent).
According to the test results, diethylene glycol was not detected in all 20 toothpaste samples in Singapore, and any fluoride that was detected was within permissible limits.
The samples were selected using random sampling, and toothpastes were bought from department stores, supermarkets and provision stores.