USING baby wipes instead of water to clean babies’ bottoms may prove harmful to children, the consumer watchdog warns.
Consumer Council (消費者委員會) publicity and community relations chairman Michael Hui King-man (許敬文) said 11 out of 44 baby wipe products that were tested were found to contain the preservative paraben (對羥基苯甲酸酯 ), which may affect hormone levels.
Parabens are preservatives made out of alcohol and an organic acid. They can be found in cosmetics, personal cleaning products (like shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste), household cleaning products and some sauces.
While nine samples contained MIT or methylisothizolinone (甲基異.唑.酮), a preservative that may cause severe rashes, 18 had phenoxyethanol (苯氧乙醇), which is used as an alternative to parabens.
The safety limit for phenoxyethanol for babies and young children is under review by the European Union (EU, 歐洲聯盟). The EU recently introduced regulations prohibiting the use of certain kinds of paraben in cosmetics and baby wipe products.
Two samples from Mannings (萬寧) – Baby Wipes 90’s scented and fragrance free, made in Taiwan (台灣) – contained five types of paraben. Hui said parents must not use products containing phenoxyethanol on the open skin of babies.
(The Standard, 16 September 2014)