I asked El Jefe to pick up some toothpaste for me and he brought home the above. Oh, how sweet! He knows I like vanilla or citrus flavors and he found some.
At first glance at the orange area and 'Whitening Expressions', I thought it was a brand that we've bought before. But wait. 'Air Sun'? What kind of name is that for a toothpaste? It sounds more like the name of an airlines. I took a closer look. L. 28.68? (US $1.50) WTH? Toothpaste usually costs around L.100 (US $5.30) here in La Ceiba, Honduras. I thought the price tag was upside down and it was actually L.89. But no, it wasn't. I turned the box over and sure enough − made in China.
"Are you trying to kill me?! Remember all those people who died in Panamá because the Chinese dumped antifreeze laden toothpaste and mouthwash on the people?" "Oh, I didn't know." After making him feel sufficiently guilty, he googled Air Sun and apparently it hasn't killed anyone − yet.
I tried the toothpaste. Yucko! It did taste like lemon, but with an aftertaste of − oh, I don't know − I've never tasted antifreeze, but I imagined that it would taste something like that. Additionally, due to the "soft silicon abrasive", it had the weirdest consistency − maybe like it had a little Ajax scouring powder mixed in. After using it two nights in a row, my gums were sore and I felt that I had successfully removed all of the enamel from my teeth.
The box alone was worth the L.28 just for the laughs, which included gems like these:
Complete new test for brush teeth
Use soft silicon abrasive will decrease wear of teeth
Will prevent oral questions completely
Super Refresh Vigor
Interestingly, there is no list of ingredients either on the box or the tube. I don't think the Chinese can sell items like this in developed countries so they dump them on poor unsuspecting third world countries who think they have found a good bargain.
For shame! I'm still trying to figure out what the "surprise test" is. Surprise! You passed the test: You're not dead.
The following day, El Jefe brought this home and I threw out the enamel-removing toothpaste. See the similiarity in the package?
At L. 115 (US $6.08 plus 12% tax), or about 70% of a day's pay for the average worker, which one do you think most Hondurans will buy?