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2 mouthwashes, wet wipes recalled

  Friday, 31 l 12 l 2010 Source: The Straits Times   
By: Salma Khalik

3 items found to pose infection risks; move follows similar action on mouthwash last month 


TWO more mouthwashes and a brand of wet wipes that have been found to be contaminated with the Burkholderia cepacia bacterium are being recalled. Last month, OralGuard Antiseptic-Antiplaque Mouthwash was recalled for the same reason. The bacterium is unlikely to affect healthy people, but those with chronic lung ailments or a compromised immune system are at risk of contracting respiratory infection. 

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) yesterday advised people to stop using:

  • Care Wipes by Tai Sun Paper Products;
  • Trihexid Chlorhexidine 0.2% Mouth Rinse by Trident Pharm;
  • Pearlie White Fluorinze Fluoride Mouth Rinse by Corlison. 

The HSA told The Straits Times there have been no reports of infection caused by these three products. They were tested during its post-marketing surveillance. The health authority said yesterday that all three companies are voluntarily recalling their products from the market “due to the potential risk of infections” from this bug.  

Trident pulled all its mouth rinses two weeks ago from hospitals and dental clinics. The product is not for general sale. Its director Sheila Mariamah said the company had taken the step after contamination was discovered in the mouth rinse, which is made here. Patients who have bought the mouth rinses can return them to the hospitals or dental clinics for a refund. The product is used to prevent bad breath, tooth and gum diseases, and reduce plaque and mouth ulcers following surgery. In hospitals, it is usually given to bed-bound patients for gargling their mouths. 

Mr Andy Ong, marketing director of Corlison, said only 148 bottles of Pearlie White are affected. However, it has taken all its mouth rinses off retail shelves. He said the company will, from now on, have the product tested by two separate accredited laboratories before releasing it into the marketplace. People should buy only Pearlie White mouth rinses that are clearly marked to say they have passed both tests. The mouth rinse claims to kill bacteria that cause bad breath, plaque and gum problems, and is supposed to relieve tooth sensitivity and prevent tooth decay.  

No comments were forthcoming from Tai Sun Paper Products. Care Wipes are used in hospitals and nursing homes as disposable skin wipes. They are also sold in some pharmacies. The HSA said the bacterium has also been found in mouth rinses and cleaning wipes in other countries. For example, between 1996 and 1998, 74 patients in two hospitals in Arizona, the United States, caught the bug from a mouthwash while they were under intensive care. The HSA added that the bacterium poses little risk to healthy people and is found in water, soil and other “moist sources”. A spokesman said anyone who has used these products and feel unwell should see a doctor.

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