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About Bitrex

About bitrex

Many young children use their mouths to taste, bite or chew the objects around them – but in today’s environment, this normal behaviour can lead to accidental swallowing of harmful household chemicals..

31,500 children were sent to hospital with suspected poisoning in 2002 (last available A&E statistics), of which 26,000 were under 5 years of age. Why take the risk of accidental poisoning?

Discovered in 1958 by Macfarlan Smith Limited (part of Johnson Matthey PLC’s Fine Chemicals Division), Bitrex is officially the most bitter substance known to man. It is inert and odourless, but only tiny amounts are needed to make products taste unpalatable. Children are particularly sensitive to bitter tastes, which makes Bitrex a powerful deterrent to accidental swallowing.

Macfarlan Smith has developed relationships with organisations that are experts in the field of child safety: working regularly with the Child Accident Prevention Trust in the UK, the National Safety Council in the USA, the Institut de Prévention des Accidents Domestique in France, and the Green Cross in Germany.