Baby wipes containing MCI/MIT, which are banned in leave-on cosmetics, including wet wipes
Baby wipes lacking the required product notifications that were purchased from retailers in Pasay City
A sales attendant arranges baby wipe products at a retail store in Pasay City
A waste and pollution watch group has again alerted both government regulators and consumers against the proliferation of pre-moistened baby wet wipes that may cause allergic reactions.
“Consumers should steer clear of wet wipes and other leave-on personal care products containing banned MCI/MIT preservatives that can cause itchy red rash on the sensitive skin of babies and children,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
MCI, which stands for methylchloroisothiazolinone, and MIT, which means methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MIT), are preservatives that are not allowed in leave-on cosmetic products, including wet wipes, under the ASEAN and the European Union cosmetic directives as these compounds can bring about allergic contact dermatitis.
“Consumers should carefully read the product labels, avoid wipes containing MCI/MIT and shun those that have not been assessed by health authorities for their quality and safety,” Dizon pointed out.
“We also advise consumers 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” Dizon added.
In a report submitted today to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the EcoWaste Coalition informed the agency about the illegal sale of unregistered wet wipes in retail establishments in Pasay City.
In test buys conducted last July 14, the group managed to purchase 12 brands of wet wipes marketed for use in cleansing babies’ sensitive skin that have not undergone quality and safety verification by the FDA.
None of these 12 baby wipes, costing P15 to P83.75 per pack, had the required product notifications.
More alarmingly, five of the 12 products listed banned preservatives MCI/MIT as ingredients.
These five products are Aierdan Baby Tender Baby Wipes, Baby Tender Baby Wipes, Dang Yang DY 999 Baby Wipes, Dong Bang Baby Tender Baby Wipes, and Toallitas de Bebe Baby Wipes.
Cosmetic regulators have disallowed MCI/MIT in leave-on cosmetics as “no safe concentrations” of these preservatives have been determined that will not induce allergy.
For children’s health and safety, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the FDA to issue an advisory focusing on baby wet wipes that will warn the public against the purchase and use of unnotified baby wipes.
“The advisory should particularly warn consumers against products containing MCI/MIT that can provoke allergic contact dermatitis to sensitized persons,” the group said.
The group further urged the FDA to conduct law enforcement action to rid both the formal and informal market of unnotified baby wipes with special emphasis on products containing banned MCI/MIT.