Skip to main content

'Disrupting chemicals' in diapers marketed in India adversely impacting infants' health

By Our Representative

If you are a doting as well as a discerning parent with a baby or toddler this is for you! A new study, ‘What’s in the Diaper: Presence of Phthalates in Baby Diapers’ released by Delhi-based advocacy organisation, Toxics Link, has sought to raise concern over toxic phthalates which it says have been found in disposable baby nappies that are available in the Indian market.
Phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and exposure to them is known to cause serious health impairments, the study claims. Quoting scientific studies, it says, “Children are more vulnerable to phthalate exposures because of their hand-to-mouth behaviours, floor play, and developing nervous and reproductive systems. Phthalates in disposable diapers are also a concern for babies as diapers are in direct contact with their skin for a long period of time each day for 2-3 years.”
“The study found high levels of phthalates ranging from 2.36ppm to 302.25ppm. The Bis(2-ethylexyl) phthalates (DEHP) is the most toxic phthalate and is restricted or banned in several children products but was found between 2.36ppm to 264.94 ppm in the tested samples,” says Alka Dubey, programme coordinator at the Toxics Link.
In all 20 diaper samples were randomly collected from local markets and chemist shops in Delhi. Few samples were purchased from commonly used e-commerce platforms as well. All the samples were analysed in a National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)-accredited laboratory (Spectro Analytical Lab Ltd Okhla, New Delhi).
“Generally phthalates are non-covalently bound to polymers used in diapers; they are easily released from the diapers. As a diaper is in direct contact with the external genitals of infants and toddlers for several months to years, there is a possibility that phthalates can enter the bodies of babies through dermal absorption and can cause adverse health impacts on the children”, says stated Satish Sinha, associate director at Toxics Link.
“Phthalates are recognised as endocrine disrupting chemicals which directly impact the endocrine systems and can be the cause for multiple ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and reproductive disorders. There are scientific studies confirming the dermal absorption of phthalates from the diapers. Further, these chemicals can leach out in the municipal waste stream and can pose serious challenges into the environment as well,” he adds.
Claiming to be first of its kind study in India, Piyush Mohapatra, senior programme coordinator, Toxics Link says, “Globally efforts have been made to phase out phthalates from various products and most importantly from children’s products. India has also set the standards for five common phthalates – DEHP, DBP (Di-butyl phthalate), BBP (Benzyl butyl phthalate), DIDP (Diisodecyl phthalate), DNOP (Di-n-octyl phthalate) and DINP (Diisononyl phthalate) – in various children’s products. However, there is no such regulation in place for baby diapers in our country.”
According to the study, labelling is a matter of big concern, as none of the manufacturers of the tested samples have listed the ingredients and chemicals used for making the diapers.
Manufacturers need to look into the issue and refrain from adding phthalates in diapers considering their health implications as well as environmental concerns. Further the government needs to take strict action to phase out phthalates from diapers with suitable regulations and to come up with some stringent measures for packaging and labelling of the products, it insists.
Nearly 40% of the samples were purchased from the local weekly market, while 60% were well-known branded ones. DEHP, DBP, DIBP, BBP and other phthalates were analyzed. DEHP, DBP, BBP were detected in all analyzed samples, The highest phthalate content reported was 302.25ppm.
DEHP, the most toxic phthalate, was observed in the range of 2.36ppm to 264.94ppm in the analyzed samples. DBP was found in the range of 2.35ppm to 37.31ppm while the total phthalate content of diaper samples was between 8.2ppm to 302.25ppm.
BBP was below detection limit or not detected in most samples except one where it was found to be 3.24ppm. DIBP was detected in three samples between 1.92 ppm to 12.36ppm.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Give the names . No point covering them up .

TRENDING

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.

Degrading conditions amidst Covid-19: Toxic ship at Alang, Gujarat, 'endangers' migrants

Counterview Desk
Evironmental activist Dr Gopal Krishna, who edits the ToxicsWatch journal, in an open letter to the chairman, Ship Breaking Scrap Committee, Union Ministry of Shipping, with copies to the joint secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping and other Government of India ministries* has said that there exists “threat to Indian maritime environment and security from viral diseases like Covid-19 from ballast water and toxic substances.”

Agricultural reform? Small farmers will be more vulnerable, corporates to 'fix' price

By Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
Agriculture employs 42% of the total work force whereas it contributes only 16% to the country’s GDP. The average annual growth rate in agriculture has remained static to 2.9% since the last six years. This means that the post-green revolution conventional agriculture has reached its peak. Responsiveness of soil fertility to fertiliser application, an indicator of stagnancy in agriculture, shows declining trend since 1970. The worst sufferer has been the small and marginal farmers who constitute 86% of total farmers.