Anti-freeze Alert

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As the cold snap arrives the Child Accident Prevention Trust and Macfarlan Smith, manufacturers of bittering agent Bitrex, are warning parents about the danger of anti-freeze, windscreen wash, de-icer and other winter products that become common place in the car, kitchen or garage.

In 2008/09 alone the National Poisons Information Service received over 500 calls about products containing highly toxic chemicals methanol and ethylene glycol, with over 100 of these involving children.

These products can intrigue children with their colourful appearance, unusual smell and sweet taste but they often contain highly toxic chemicals and only small amounts of these chemicals can cause blindness, kidney failure and even death if swallowed.

Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust says,

‘We are reminding parents that whilst child resistant packaging is effective, it is not completely foolproof and the safest way to protect your child is by storing potentially dangerous products out of their reach.

“And where possible choose products containing a bittering agent such as Bitrex, which makes dangerous chemicals taste so horrible they are very difficult to swallow, should they get into the hands of small children.’

Cameron Smith, Bitrex Business Manager at Macfarlan Smith, developers of bittering agent Bitrex added,

‘We like to think of our product as the ‘third line of defence’ against accidental swallowing after child resistant packaging and careful storage. All products displaying the round Bitrex logo are carefully tested to ensure that they are very difficult to swallow.’

“We all need anti-freeze and de-icing products to get us through the winter, but it is reassuring for parents to know that there is an extra barrier between these potentially dangerous chemicals and their children.’

Further Information on poisons and other harmful substances, along with useful safety tips for parents can be found at , for a full list of products containing Bitrex, and retailers stocking Bitrex products visit


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John Hughes
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