Parents in France urged to avoid certain baby hygiene products

Parents in France urged to avoid certain baby hygiene products
Photo: Parenting Patch/Flickr
A leading French consumer group has warned parents about certain baby hygiene products including wipes, moisturizers and nappies that contain toxic components, including glyphosate residue, which is considered to potentially cause cancer.

The association 60 Million Consumers (60 Millions de Consommateurs) has studied around 155 products linked to baby hygiene and the results should make important reading for parents.

In its new study, the association looked at 12 brands of nappies, around one third of which were found to contain potentially toxic chemicals.

In nappies made by the brands Love & Green, Lotus Baby, Pommette and Lillydoo the study found they contained residues of glyphosate, a component which some studies and the World Health Organization have labelled carcinogenic.

Nappies by the brand Mots d'enfants that are found in E.Leclerc supermarkets were also flagged up for the presence of “volatile organic components” that are known to cause “skin irritations or mucous in the respiratory system”.

In its study the association notes that the levels of substances found in the nappies are very low but nevertheless the health risks associated with them “cannot be ruled out” because “newborn babies are exposed to glyphosate and other volatile organic components from other sources”. 

One of those sources is baby wipes.

The problem chemical contained in baby wipes was phenoxyethanol, which French health authorities advised against including in products for babies back in 2012 in part due to the fact it was believed to cause allergies and potentially be cancer-causing.

Since then many brands have removed phénoxyéthanol as an ingredient in baby wipes.

(Photo: Deposit photos)

But three of the 44 products tested by 60 Million Consumers were still found to contain it, including ultra-soft wipes made by the well-known label Mixa Bébé.

The association also notes that most baby wipes contain substances that can be considered “undesirable” such as irritants, perfumes or chemicals that can cause allergies because of their high use.

60 Million Consumers recommends parents use liniments, including ones which mix olive oil and limewater called Limestone Oleo.

All 17 of the liniments tested by the association were given the green light.

Problems were also raised around several moisturizers used for babies, some of which were found to contain phenoxyethanol. 

Some seven out of 47 moisturizing products tested should be banned because of their composition, said 60 Million Consumers.

Two products were singled out to be avoided: “Lait de toilette” (bath milk) by Mixa and Nivea Baby face and body moisturizer.

Brands that produce baby bath milks were also slammed for thefact  they all contained perfumes that could potentially cause allergies.

If possible parents were advised to look for moisturizers that contained no perfumes at all, but they may be hard to come by.

60 Million Consumers regularly produce studies looking at dangerous substances in everyday products.

In the past French consumer watchdog groups such as 60 Million Consumers and UFC-Que Chosir have warned the public about the dangers of cosmetic products and supermarket foods.

Banned substances found in over 140 cosmetic products sold in France

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