Öko-Test study: Perfume and preservatives in baby wipes

Öko-Test study: Perfume and preservatives in baby wipes

Tester: Perfumes and preservatives in baby wipes
Many parents use wet wipes to care for their babies. Because these are practical, can be taken anywhere and do not require washing after use. But the quality of the towels is often not as good as it should be. According to a recent study by the "Öko-Test" magazine, a good third of 43 products are not recommended.

Wipes as an alternative to water and washcloths
They are quickly at hand, do not require water and are easy to dispose of: packaged baby wipes have been experiencing a boom among parents for years. In addition to the well-known companies, almost every supermarket and drugstore chain now also offers the popular towels under its own brands; even natural cosmetic products are available in this area. Given the wide range and the supposed advantages, for many they are a welcome alternative to washcloths and water.

But this variant is obviously not quite as "clean". As the magazine "Öko-Test" was able to determine from a current study, more than a third of the products are not recommended. The reason: In addition to water, some wipes contain a large number of additives that make the wipes more durable - but have not lost anything on the baby's skin. According to "Ökotest", the main criticism is the preservative polyaminopropyl buguanide (PHMB), which was found in eight products - although the EU has already banned this substance in cosmetics. This is considered a hazardous substance (CMR2) and accordingly represents one of those substances "that are rated as carcinogenic, mutagenic and / or toxic for reproduction", the magazine said. In addition to this, there is a suspicion that PHMB "is toxic when inhaled". However, the manufacturers concerned have announced that they will no longer use the substance or will do without it in the future, explains Ökotest.

The label "sensitive" also offers no guarantee
The experts also found the preservative phenoxyethanol in 35 of the 43 products reviewed. Although this did not result in a devaluation in the current investigation, this could change soon. This is because the preservative is currently being examined by the EU's scientific advisory committee (SCCS, Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety) for possible toxic effects. Even products with the label "sensitive" therefore do not protect consumers from chemical ingredients. Although they do not contain perfume, they are also not free of problematic substances.

So parents should think carefully about whether the benefits actually outweigh them. “Öko-Test” recommends parents to use water and washcloths instead of wet wipes. This is "more skin-friendly and does not pollute the environment". The Upper Austria Chamber of Labor (AKOÖ), which cooperates with Ökotest, also advises you to stick to the tried-and-tested cleaning method, at least at home, and to use wet wipes when you are out and about. When buying, consumers should also pay particular attention to polyaminopropyl and send packages that have already been purchased with this ingredient back to the manufacturer. (No)

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