Most babies in Germany are wrapped in disposable diapers. Parents rightly assume that they are not only practical, but totally harmless. A recent report by the French environmental protection Agency Anses contradicts this assumption.
The authority is based on analyses from the years 2016 and 2018, at which many diapers have been tested in France on the market. According to the report, discovered Anses numerous hazardous chemicals in the diapers. The concern: The substances might be due to urine from the diaper solved, then with the skin of the babies come into contact and cause harm.
Some of the problematic substances considered by the manufacturer to add intentionally: fragrance substances such as, for example, the so-called Lilial. The Lily of the valley smelling substance can also cause allergies, irritate the skin and may affect fertility.
Others originate from the raw materials used in the diapers of proven crop protection products, including glyphosate. Further be used in the manufacturing process, and ideally should not be present in the final product.
At least for some substances, the proven quantities are so high that a health could not be ruled out risk, it shall inform the authority.
This is true according to Anses for
- two fragrances (Lilial and Lyral),
- some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHS short,
- as well as the sum of the detected dioxins and dioxin-like PCBS.
In the case of other substances, such as in the case of formaldehyde, the further fragrance substances, glyphosate and other pesticides that exceeded the amounts against the limits.
What the authority is proposing now
Anses comes to the conclusion: If the use of hazardous chemicals in diapers demonstrate that the current arrangements for the production. It calls for new, stricter regulations.
- Fragrances should avoid the manufacturer in the future completely, especially those that can cause allergies.
- The producers should also be used to modify steps in the manufacture of, for example, certain chemicals for bleaching.
- Raw materials should be controlled better, in order to exclude contaminants.
- For some of the detected substances, such as the dioxin-like PCBS, do you propose as a limit in diapers the technically possible limit of detection. Which means, in other words: you should not actually occur at all in diapers.
- When Developing limit values you give also to remember that babies absorb some of the substances on the food and limits for diapers, therefore, correspondingly lower.
What questions remain unanswered
The present Report cannot, however, answer a few questions. To what extent in the diaper existing pollutants actually come in contact with the skin and then cause problems, is not yet sufficiently explored and to clarify currently ambiguous. Here studies are needed, writes the French authority.
What the report means for the German market, currently not say. The Federal Institute for risk assessment (BfR) don’t want to comment on the Report, because the data is not available yet.