Why are there so many recall notices involving PEG 3350?
PEG 3350 is the acronym for polyethylene glycol with a molecular mass of 3350 g/mol. This compound may also be referred to as Polyoxyethylene (POE) and Polyethylene Oxide.
This is a comparatively uncomplicated long chain molecule, chemically identical but available in a wide range of molecular masses. It has a huge number of uses, including (but not limited to):
- Laxatives (osmotic)
- Toothpaste (as a dispersant)
- Sexual lubricant
- Whole Bowel Irrigation and lavage
- Cosmetics and make-up
- Body armor
- Foam cushions
- Spandex (TM)
- As a treatment for phenol burns (deactivation of phenol on the wound site)
- And many, many others...
Every time any product containing PEG is involved in a mandatory recall or official warning, PEG is going to be listed as a component, even if it's not the reason for the recall.
The recent recall (July 2010) is for the Schering-Plough laxative, MiraLax. This is a voluntary manufacturer's recall and not an FDA recall. SPH indicates that the recall is purely for a cosmetic issue: The caps on the 30-unit bottle, when exposed to heat, may appear unusual. SPH further reports there is no risk with the medication at all - it's purely cosmetic.
Please check with your doctor and/or pharmacist for verified information in health matters.