EcoWaste Coalition Flags Baby Wipes with Banned Allergy-Causing Ingredients
Beware of baby skincare wipes that claim to be “gentle enough for cleaning your baby’s face and hands” but contain banned ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions.
The EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit group promoting children’s and environmental health, warned consumers against baby wipes containing methylisothiazolinone (MIT), which is banned in leave-on cosmetic products, including wet wipes. MIT is commonly used along with methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT) as a preservative in cosmetic products.
The group’s warning followed the issuance on July 28 and August 6 of two health advisories by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advising the public not to buy and use “Family Treasure Baby Tender Baby Wipes.”
According to FDA Advisories 2021-1867 and 2021-1867, the said product lacks valid certificate of product notification and may pose health risks to consumers.
“A closer examination of the list of ingredients of this unauthorized product shows that it contains MIT/CMIT as written on the label,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition, who noted that this compound has been banned in leave-on cosmetic products as per FDA Circular 2017-006.
Even with MIT/CMIT, the product, according to the label, “gently cleans and moisturizes at every diaper change” and is “gentle enough for cleaning your baby’s face and hands.”
“Exposure to MIT/CMIT has been linked to allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) among babies. The use of wet wipes containing this mixture can affect the baby’s sensitive skin, causing redness, rash and itching,” he pointed out.
Health experts have warned that dermal contact with MIT/CMIT can provoke ACD to sensitized persons.
As per 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 help prevent ACD in children, the EcoWaste Coalition reminded consumers to pick FDA-authorized baby wipes, carefully read product labels and reject those listing MIT/CMIT among the product ingredients.
The zero waste advocacy group also reminded the public not to flush wet wipes, which contain plastic materials, or throw them in streets or storm drains.
The reckless disposal of wet wipes and other discarded plastics may block the drainage and sewer systems and add to the plastic pollution threatening marine life as pointed out in a study commissioned by the Friends of the Earth (FoE-UK).
“As well as causing trouble in wastewater systems, wipes can find their way into oceans. Along with other types of plastic pollution, they can cause long-term problems for sea creatures and the marine environment,” the FoE-UK said.