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Toxic Chemicals in Baby Diapers a Serious Risk: Study

Deepika Kaushik

Written by Deepika Kaushik

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Ubaid Khan, MBBS

Toxic Chemicals in Baby Diapers a Serious Risk | Is it safe for a baby to wear a diaper anymore?

The diaper which has been known to be your very savior, is it harmful to your baby? Do you need to stop using disposable diapers?  

Yes, the disposable diaper which almost every mom uses to prevent leakage of urine or poop of baby. Now it might affect your baby also.

A piece of recent news covered on TOI, a Delhi-based advocacy organization raises the concern regarding the existence of toxic Phthalates in the disposable diaper of the baby which are available in the Indian market. If you are wondering, why phthalates are harmful to the baby? What could be the possible side effect of having phthalates in baby’s diaper and other products?

Keep reading!

What is Phthalates? 

First, let’s start with what phthalates are? This will allow you to have a clear look at the picture. 

Phthalates are a set of chemicals that are used to make plastic more flexible and tough to break. Many a time, it is also termed as plasticizers. Additionally, the use of phthalates is not just to make plastic flexible. But it is also used in detergents, plastic clothes, inflatable toys, some toys of kids, personal-care products such as soaps, nail polishes, hair spray, and shampoos, and more.

If you are wondering how you are exposed to Phthalates, I assume so far you must have understood that many of the products that you use contain these chemicals.

Why Phthalates are Harmful to Baby? 

No doubt, Phthalates are harmful to you too. And believe it or not, these harmful or toxic chemicals are affecting both you and your baby by eating and drinking food and drinks which are being in the contact with containers and products containing containers.

Not only this, you and your baby can also expose to the Phthalates to a lesser extent by breathing air which either contains Phthalates vapors or dust taint with substances of Phthalates particles.

Most importantly, our baby is at higher risk from the Phthalates than you because of their hand to mouth behavior. Simply, because babies tend to play in the dust and without realizing they put their hands in their mouth.  

In short, Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are well known to cause consequential health impacts.

Further, Toxic Link did a study regarding what diapers contain? In their study, they have found out the presence of 2.336ppm-302.25ppm on the diaper which they have collected from e-commerce sites and local markets. To be specific, they have taken the diaper of 19 brands and take 20 samples which were examined in a NABL-certified laboratory. 

Later on, Alka Dubey, program coordinator at Toxic Link said that the study has found that many baby products contain DEHP. Which is the most toxic Phthalates, the quantity is 2.36ppm to 264.94ppm in the samples they have taken. 

Further, Satish Sinha, the associate director said, “Phthalates are non-covalently bound of polymers that are used to make diapers and can effortlessly librate from the products. Hence, the diaper remains in direct touch with the external genitals of the baby for numerous months or years. This enhances the possibility of the Phthalates entering into the baby’s or kid’s body through dermal absorption. That’s is why it has a harmful impact on children’s health. 

Effects of Phthalates

Some of the adverse effects of the Phthalates according to Satish Sinha are, 

  • Obesity
  • Hypertension 
  • Diabetes 
  • Reproductive disorder

Scientific studies confirm the dermal absorption of the Phthalates in the body from the diaper. Additionally, it is also harmful to the environment, if it percolates in the municipal waste stream.

One thing to note is that it is the first kind of study that has been conducted in our country. Though, “India has set standards for the five common types of Phthalates. These are DEHP, DIDP, DBP, DNOP, BBP, along DINP in varied products for kid or baby. However, there is no such regulation in place for baby diapers in our country,” said Piyush Mohapatra, a senior programme coordinator at Toxics Link.

Hence, the government is being yearning to terminate the Phthalates from the diapers. According to the study, the government has to intervene and should come up with strict measures concerning packing and labeling. Because the tested samples do not contain any information regarding ingredients and chemicals on the packet.

To conclude, I would advise you to consult the doctor or expert regarding the use of a disposable diaper to know better about the toxic chemicals present in diapers. Or better to use cloth diapers.

Though, I recommend you avoid disposable diapers for the time being.

Deepika Kaushik
Deepika Kaushik

Hi, I'm Deepika Kaushik, and I love to review baby products. I have helped many of my relatives and aunt in suggesting baby care products by engaging in proper research, which proves to be safe and secure for my young cousins. Also, they just loved my suggestions and I hope the same with you also. Read more

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