Twelve people were arrested in connection with a tainted teething medicine that killed at least 84 children in Nigeria, authorities said Thursday.
The medicine was found to contain a solvent typically found in antifreeze and brake fluid, authorities said. More than 110 children have been sickened since November by the tainted batch of My Pikin, which was found to contain diethylene glycol, the country’s health minister has said. Tests on the teething formula showed high concentrations of diethylene glycol, which can damage the kidney, heart and nervous system and can lead to death. The victims ranged from ages 2 months to 7 years, authorities said. Five of the suspects arrested were from the company that manufactured the medicine. The rest of the suspects were from a chemical company that sold the diethylene glycol, said Abubakar Jimoh, deputy director of Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration. The suspects have been bonded out of jail but could face 15 years in prison or $3,380 fine, Jimoh said. Diethylene glycol found in other products, such as tainted toothpaste from China, has led to recalls and public health warnings in the United States. In July 2007, such toothpaste was linked to 83 deaths in Panama.