THE government is asking for vigilance after traces of diethylene glycol were found in tubes of toothpaste designated for Spanish hospitals.

Officials believe thousands of 17 gram tubes of Tri Leaf Spearmint toothpaste, which contain traces of the substance normally used as an anti-freeze, may have entered the Spain from China, where it is produced.

The toothpaste is normally given to hospital patients in several regions of Spain.

Although the government has not revealed exactly which, Valencia is believed to be one of those regions after claims 10,000 tubes of the toothpaste were given to patients in six hospitals.

A similar scare was reported in the USA last month.

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