60 millions de consommateurs, a French magazine edited by the National Institute of Consumption (Institut National de la Consommation), has recently conducted tests of the materials used in baby diapers and found traces of toxic products.

The magazine analysed 12 models of disposable diapers, including big international brands, and found evidence of toxic components such as glyphosate (a component used in herbicides, present in the controversial product Roundup for example), dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Only two of the 12 models analysed had no potentially toxic substances.

After the report was published, French authorities reacted and the ministries of environment, health and consumption asked the National Agency of Health Security (Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire – Anses) to analyse the risk for babies exposed to the substances found in diapers and whether it is necessary to adopt more regulation.

The French Minister of Environment also asked the European Commission to approve stricter regulations for carcinogens, mutagens and toxic components in textile products.

The current legislation does not oblige producers to list the components of diapers on the package. Thus the transparency and the information available for parents is limited. Considering that babies are particularly sensitive, special cautions should exist to ensure that their health is not threatened by toxic products.