A shipment of counterfeit Colgate toothpaste has been identified by the Health Ministry as containing diethylene glycol (DEG), a substance that can endanger public health. DEG is a clear, odorless compound used as a solvent for resins, oils, dyes and other organic compounds. It can be also found in some hydraulic fluids including brake fluids. As in this case, DEG is also illegally used as counterfeit glycerin in some nations and sold around the world as a component of toothpaste, cough syrup and mouthwash. The Shestovich company, which imports and markets genuine Colgate products, conducted a comprehensive search and found that the counterfeit toothpaste labelled as "Colgate Total Clean Mint" is not on the shelves of large supermarket and other chain stores. But nevertheless, the public is asked to be alert and make sure that the Colgate product they buy is not counterfeit. The illegal products have batch number 6116CB10121 on the box. In addition, the tube says the toothpaste was produced in "Surrey, UK." If the Colgate product you have does not have these signs, it is authentic, the ministry said on Wednesday. If it does, report it to the ministry's unit against pharmaceutical crimes at (02) 655-1772/4 or fax (02) 655-1776. The Shestovich customer service number is 1-700-709-370.