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Warning Out on Baby Wipes with Banned Preservatives

Baby Wipes
Baby wipes containing banned preservatives

Quezon City. The EcoWaste Coalition has again raised the red flag over the continuing sale of baby wipes containing banned chemicals that can trigger adverse skin reactions.

The group, an advocate for a zero waste and toxics-free society, alerted parents and nannies about this health hazard after buying unauthorized baby wipes that list methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone among their ingredients. These preservatives are known to cause skin redness, itching and blistering, and are prohibited in leave-on cosmetic products, including baby wipes.

In test buys conducted on October 10, 2023 as part of its observance of the Consumer Welfare Month, the group bought two brands of baby wipes containing the said banned ingredients for P18 and P25 per pack of 80 wipes. The products are not notified with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Wipes containing methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone can cause contact dermatitis, which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), “is a skin disorder characterized by redness, itching and vesiculation (that) results from contact with environmental substances that elicit an allergic and/or irritant response.”

FDA Circular No. 2017-006 and FDA Advisory No. 2018-034 prohibited methylisothiazolinone in leave-on cosmetic products and set a grace period until August 31, 2018 to assist the industry to comply.

More than five years have passed since the phase-out deadline and baby wipes containing the banned chemicals are still offered for sale in the market, the EcoWaste Coalition lamented.

Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone, which are commonly used as a mixture in products, are prohibited in leave-on cosmetic products, including wet wipes, under the cosmetic regulations being enforced by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and the FDA.

According to the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety, “for leave-on cosmetic products (including ‘wet wipes’), no safe concentrations of methylisothiazolinone for induction of contact allergy or elicitation have been adequately demonstrated.”

“To safeguard your baby against contact dermatitis and other skin disorders, please read product labels carefully, and reject those listing methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone as ingredients. Also, don’t forget to properly dispose of used wipes to prevent blocking the drains, contaminating recyclables, and polluting the oceans,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

The group also called on manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers, as part of their corporate social responsibility, to ensure that wet wipes and other leave-on products containing methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone are not produced and offered for sale.


References:

https://ww2.fda.gov.ph/index.php/advisories-2/cosmetic-2/488137-fda-advisory-no-2018-034
https://ww2.fda.gov.ph/attachments/article/453569/FDA%20Circular%20No.2017-006-1.pdf
https://www.worldallergy.org/education-and-programs/education/allergic-disease-resource-center/professionals/contact-dermatitis-synopsis
https://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/docs/sccs_o_145.pdf

EcoWaste Coalition
Let's make an eco-friendly, zero waste, and toxic-free Philippines a reality.
https://www.ecowastecoalition.org/