The sh*t that ends up in baby wipes
Obviously baby wipes are designed to contain a lot of nasty stuff after they have been used. But I didn’t know they already contain a lot of it straight out of the package! In recent weeks there have been widespread product recalls of baby wipes because some brands contain a chemical called “iodopropynyl butylcarbamate” (IPBC) which is believed to be toxic when inhaled. The use of IPBC for cosmetic products is restricted in many countries and it is linked to skin conditions (not surprising when you consider that it was originally designed / used for wood and paint preservation).
While the main purpose of baby wipes is obviously to wipe a baby’s bottom, most parents would probably also use these handy wipes to wipe just about anything else around the baby. Baby wipes are in fact really handy for wiping snotty noses or removing face paint. So it is very likely that our precious little ones have been inhaving the chemicals contained in the wipes when using wipes around the face. Not good.
The big question is of course why manufacturers of baby wipes would add in IPBC in the first place? The standard response seems to be that IBPC is an effective fungicide and preservative agent. But is that not just a simple excuse given that some manufacturers have chosen different ways to preserve their products? In fact there are many bio wipes on the market which don’t contain any chemcials at all and are still safe to use. So the actual answer may be more linked to product qualities (e.g. shelflife), cost or just sheer laziness to look for a healthier alternative to IPBC. Always amazes me that apparently we can’t be bothered to go the extra mile to ensure product-safety even when our most precious members of society are concerned.
Anyway – in the meantime it’s probably wise to check the product labels of baby wipes to check for IPBC (and probably most other chemicals that are listed on there). Maybe we’ll all just have to go back to the good old “cloth, soap and water” to be really sure we don’t poison our babies from day one.