EDANA - The voice of nonwovens
23 January 2019
EDANA STATEMENT ON ANSES DIAPER REPORT
Manufacturers’ association reasserts safety of products

EDANA, the trade association representing most manufacturers of baby diapers in EMEA, today received notification of the study on diaper safety by the French government agency ANSES. The industry:

  • reassures parents that diapers remain safe for use and shares a mutual interest in product safety

  • reasserts its confidence in the existing stringent safety regulations and rigorous supply chain and manufacturing controls

  • is committed to constant and vigilant product testing and innovation targeting the reduction of unwanted trace compounds

EDANA’s members confirm the safety of the 21 billion diapers placed on the EU market annually. They meet or exceed all applicable national and European regulations. While this study merits further research and scrutiny, it does not demonstrate that any product has exceeded existing safety thresholds and no regulatory action has been recommended. 

Disposable baby diapers have a long history of safe use which has been very recently tested and confirmed by several health and safety authorities. A 2018 market study by the Belgian Federal Public Health Service demonstrated compliance by all diapers tested with all applicable EU regulations and concluded that diapers posed no risk to health. A 2017 study by the Swiss Federal Office for Food Security and Veterinary Affairs concluded that “in view of the analyzes carried out, and in the state of current knowledge, the Federal Office for Food Safety and Business VSAV considers that diapers do not contain any substances or chemicals that may pose a health risk to infants.” In South Korea, a 2018 study conducted by the Food and Drug Safety Ministry on 10 ‘volatile organic compounds’ (VOCs) found that “these VOCs were present in low levels that did not have harmful effects on the human body,”

Diapers are subject to stringent general safety requirements, included in the General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC (GPSD), which aims at ensuring that only safe consumer products are sold in the EU. The safety of chemicals, including their presence in consumer products (defined as articles under REACH) is governed by the European REACH regulation on chemical safety (EC No 1907/2006). 

EDANA welcomes the opportunity to learn from the ANSES study and further improve product quality. The industry takes its duty of care to ensure product safety very seriously. EDANA and its member companies, in collaboration with Group'hygiène in France, established a taskforce in 2017 to work on the identification of trace impurities, alignment on suitable test methods, and the development of safe and acceptable threshold limits in finished products. Despite achieving values well below regulatory and safety thresholds, industry continues to strive to further lower trace levels of impurities. We value this report and the recommendations which align with the objectives of this taskforce.

EDANA is committed to further collaborate with the relevant authorities and independent sector experts to continue assessing the safety and improve the quality of products that have a long history of providing comfort and care for millions.

For further information, please contact:

Seán Kerrigan, Director of Communications and Media Relations, EDANA

sean.kerrigan@edana.org