EcoWaste Coalition Urges Public to Watch Out for Baby Wipes Containing Restricted Preservative

A non-profit watch group on harmful chemicals in products
and wastes today urged consumers of wet wipes, especially those used for
babies, to watch out for products containing a restricted preservative. 
The EcoWaste Coalition observed that many baby wipes and
facial cleansing wipes on sale in sidewalks and discount stores are not duly
registered with the health authorities and some contain iodopropynyl
butylcarbamate (IPBC), which is prohibited in products intended for children
under three years old under the ASEAN and European Cosmetic Directives.
A market surveillance conducted by the group between
August 28 to October 12, 2016 showed that at least 30  brands of baby wipes and cleansing wipes
being sold in the market for as low as P15 are not notified or registered with
the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
“This is a cause for concern as these products may
contain banned or restricted substances like IPBC that may cause health risk,
especially for babies, who are prone to skin allergic reactions,” said Thony
Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
The group is likewise concerned that the arbitrary
disposal of wet wipes used to clean baby’s bottom, face and nose, remove
make-up or keep oily skin in check may be contributing to environmental
“Carelessly thrown wipes may clog up sewerage systems and
end up in canals and rivers and finally into the oceans where wipes can harm
marine life,” he added. 
Governments in Europe, the EcoWaste Coalition said, have
taken action against IPBC-containing wet wipes marketed for kids under three
years of age because these products pose “chemical risk.”
From 2013 to date, public health authorities in the Czech
Republic, Finland, Iceland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden banned 19 types of wet
wipes for containing IPBC and other preservatives of concern.
In explaining the withdrawal of IPBC-containing wet
wipes, the Czech Republic, for instance, stated that “IPBC may penetrate the
skin of the infant and may have an adverse effect of the function of the
thyroid gland.”
In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health in 2011 warned
that baby wipes containing IPBC “may pose a public health risk because of their
potential sensitizing and allergenic effects.”
As a precaution against potential harm to health, the
group advised consumers not to patronize wet wipes containing IPBC and to
consult the FDA website for products that are duly notified or registered with
the agency.  
Be wary of imported wet wipes with no information about their foreign
manufacturers and/or local distributors, the group added.

The EcoWaste Coalition has already notified the FDA about
the results of its latest market surveillance.