Thursday, October 29, 2009

Behind the Label: Calpol

The Ecologist magazine has done an investigation into Kids medicine which is very revealing.

Calpol of course doesn't just contain paracetamol. It is a veritable cocktail of sweeteners, flavourings, preservatives and colourants to make the product appealing and palatable to infants. These additives include strawberry 'flavouring' and carmoisine (E122- suspected carcinogen, banned in Austria, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the US) to produce its pink colour.

It also contains, Maltitol (a mild laxative), glycerol (E422 - large quantities can cause headaches, thirst and nausea), sorbitol (E420 - large quantities can cause stomach upset), the paraben preservatives methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218 - suspected hormone disrupter and allergen), propyl parahydroxybenzoate (E216 - suspected hormone disrupter and allergen), ethyl parahydroxybenzoate (E214 - suspected hormone disrupter, banned in France and Australia), and a thickener xanthan gum (E415 - no known adverse effects).

Being such an interesting E-cocktail, it's not surprising that it can cause allergic reactions (such as skin rashes and hayfever-like symptoms), tiredness, unexpected bleeding or tendency towards bruising as well as headache, nausea.

Using paracetamol to treat fever may also result in your child having a seemingly endless round of colds, since the body's natural fever reaction was not allowed to kill the virus causing the illness leaving your child to be reinfected again and again.

E122 and E218 can lead to hyperactivity, and the Hyperactive Children's Support Group identifies them as likely causes of mysterious and sudden cases of ADHD-like hyper-activity.
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