Some wet wipes that are used to clean the face, hands and bottom of babies may contain banned preservatives that can trigger allergic reactions.
The EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit environmental and health organization, sounded the alarm versus methylchloroisothiazoli none and methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MIT), two chemical preservatives that are banned in leave-on cosmetic products such as wet wipes.
“Our test buys show that imported baby wipes sold for as low as P20 per pack contain these chemical preservatives that are associated with allergic reactions such as skin rashes,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
Last Sunday, June 17, the group managed to buy unregistered baby wipes listing MCI/MIT as ingredients from retailers at 168, 999, and Lucky Chinatown Shopping Malls in Manila.
One of the products bought --- “Dong Bang Baby Tender Baby Wipes Fresh Scented” --- was among those included in the public health warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration last March 22 against unverified and potentially dangerous cosmetic products.
“Skin contact with MCI/MIT, which are known sensitizing agents, can elicit allergic contact dermatitis in humans, especially among babies who have very delicate skin,” he said.
While MCI/MIT are allowed in rinse-off cosmetic products, cosmetic regulations governing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) ban these preservatives in leave-on products including wet wipes, Dizon pointed out.
According to the EU, “for leave-on cosmetic products (including ‘wet wipes’), no safe concentrations of MIT for induction of contact allergy or elicitation have been adequately demonstrated.”
To prevent children’s exposure to known skin sensitizers, the EcoWaste Coalition urged parents to consider these tips:
1. Use lukewarm water, mild soap and cotton balls for cleaning baby’s bottom and only use wet wipes when water is not available.
2. Read the product label carefully and shun those that include MCI/MIT as ingredients.
3. Reject products that do not list their ingredients and do not have an expiry date.
4. Look for alcohol-free and unscented wet wipes.
5. To cut the chances of an allergy, refrain from using wet wipes for cleaning baby’s hands, mouth and other body parts.
6. After using wet wipes, rinse with water to get rid of chemical residues and reduce the risk of skin allergies.
The EcoWaste Coalition further reminded the public not to flush used wet wipes or throw them on streets or canals as these may block the drainage and sewer systems, clog anti-flood pumping stations, ruin wastewater pumps, and aggravate the plastic pollution of water bodies and the oceans.
https://ww2.fda.gov.ph/attachm ents/article/453569/FDA%20Circ ular%20No.2017-006-1.pdf
https://ww2.fda.gov.ph/index.p hp/advisories-2/cosmetic-2/488 137-fda-advisory-no-2018-034
https://ww2.fda.gov.ph/index.p hp/advisories-2/cosmetic-2/497 771-fda-advisory-no-2018-099
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/lega l-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CEL EX:32016R1198&from=EN