Public Health and Safety
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Why are there so many recall notices involving PEG 3350?

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Wiki User
July 27, 2010 1:12PM

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.

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