DIAPERS - TOXIC CHEMICALS AND BABIES’ SKIN DON'T BELONG TOGETHER

Baby diapers can harbour unsafe levels of dangerous chemicals. In January the French authority ANSES found unsafe levels of toxic chemicals in diaper brands [1] – these shocking findings made news headlines around the world [2].

 

“The story did stand out to me, a mother of three children. I know that official safety levels for chemical exposure are based on adults, not kids. And kids, because of their size, metabolism and tender developing bodies are more vulnerable to toxic chemicals” 

Blanca Morales, an ecolabel expert for the consumer association BEUC and environmental group European Environmental Bureau

 

Meanwhile back in September 2017, German TV broadcaster ZDF found dioxins in one of five tested diapers [3]. Dioxins belong to a ‘dirty dozen’ group of chemically-related compounds known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and are classed as very dangerous by the World Health Organisation. Dioxin is a cancer causing agent, but even at very low levels it can cause other adverse health effects including reproductive problems and hormone interference [4].

 

A baby can wear between 11,000 – 17,000  diapers [5] while it is still growing in its formative years. Even if these diapers contain small quantities of dioxin, the baby’s exposure to these chemicals remains significant over this length of time. Babies’ skin is also thin, making it very vulnerable to chemical exposure [5]

The only way to guarantee that a baby diaper is 100% free from dioxins is to buy TCF-labelled products [6]. This means that the diapers haven’t been bleached with chlorine compounds. TCF bleaching has been on the market since the mid 1990s and is the safest technology of its type, both from a health and environmental perspective. 

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