Health officials in the United States say they are checking all shipments of toothpaste imported from China for contamination with toxic chemicals.
Panama and the Dominican Republic have reported finding diethylene glycol, a chemical used in engine coolants, in toothpaste from China.
The toothpaste scare is the latest involving products from China. Earlier this year, contaminated pet food ingredients killed a number of cats and dogs in North America.
The toxic chemical, melamine, was found in wheat gluten exports from China for use in pet food, prompting a recall of at least 100 pet food brands. The tainted wheat gluten was even thought to have made its way into livestock feed.
Cough syrup containing diethylene glycol originating from China killed more than 50 people in Panama last year.
The New York Times said a Chinese chemical maker had sold the industrial-grade chemical as glycerine, which is often used as a moistener in products from toothpaste to soap and cosmetics.