Bangladesh finds toxic chemical in paracetamol

14:31, 28 July 2009
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Bangladesh authorities have found traces of a toxic chemical in a paracetamol syrup produced by a local drug firm that is suspected to have killed at least 25 children in the past few weeks, according to Reuters. "We conducted two tests on the paracetamol syrup and each time we found diethyl glycol. It`s a toxic chemical used in the textile and leather dyeing factories," Health Minister A.F.M Ruhul Haque told reporters on Tuesday.

"The drug maker added the toxic industrial chemical because it is 10 times cheaper than propylene glycol, which is used as a solvent in paracetamol syrup."

The victims who died were aged between one and five, and lived in Brahmanbaria, an eastern district where authorities have already ordered the pharmaceutical company to shut down operations following the deaths.

Company officials were not immediately available for comments.

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