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Current Affairs

Pthalates found in baby diapers

Date: 30 September 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A study raises concern about the presence of toxic phthalates in disposable baby diapers available in the Indian market. 

 

Background

Pthalates, when in contact with skin, may impede the regulation of hormones and is, therefore, banned in the use of cosmetic products, toys in India as well as in Europe, South Korea, and China.

 

Details

  • Pthalates are a family of chemicals used to improve the plasticity of several consumer products, including diapers. In the latter, they are responsible for making it more durable and flexible.

  • For the study, 20 diaper samples were randomly collected from local markets and chemist shops in Delhi, and some were purchased from commonly used e-commerce platforms as well. 

  • India has also set the standards for five common phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP, DIDP, DNOP & DINP) in various children’s products. 

  • Independent studies have shown the presence of pthalates in the skin and urine of infants from exposure to baby shampoos, baby lotions, and powders but there no specific studies that link pthalates having made their way into babies' bodies through the use of diapers.

  • However manufacturers, both in India as well as abroad, aren’t required to list the presence of pthalates on the labels of their products.

  • They may also be contributing to environmental degradation. Because disposable diapers frequently reach landfills, these chemical leach into the soil and may pollute groundwater.