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What's in the Diaper? Presence of Phthalates in baby diapers

TitleWhat's in the Diaper? Presence of Phthalates in baby diapers
Publication Type Research Reports
Year of Publication2020

baby diapersdisposable diapersphthalatesenvironmentToxics LinkDelhiIndiaNGOconsumer awarenesstoxicitypampershuggiesmamypokosurveydiaper marketpolypropylenedermal absorptionhealthchildrenhealth exposurereproductive systemskinleachingDEHP DBPplasticizeringestionendocrine disruptingchemicalslandfillsscientific studiesbiodegradationregulationsfood chainecosystem E-commercelabellingdisposal mechanismStakeholder Awaerness


The study is an attempt to get an overview on the presence ofphthalates in diapers in the Indian context. The study has also established thatmost of the diapers contain phthalates like DEPH and DBP which are well-known endocrine disruptors. The sample TL-D 16 hasthe highest concentration of DEHP, DBP and total phthalates of 8.2 -302.25 PPM, which is notably higher than the recent published studies by Ishi et al 2015 on DEHP (0.1-0.6 ppm) and DBP (0.1-0.2 ppm) in baby diapers available in Japan and Park et al 2019 of the level of DEHP (0.01-0.06 ppm) and DBP (0.01-0.16 ppm) in diapers in Netherlands. Incidently most of the samples studiedin India have high phthalate levels than the available global studies conducted on phthalates in diapers. Therefore the present study raised concerns on the quality of theproducts available in the Indian market and also the possible unimaginablerisks that these products can pose to children.Moreover due to lack of a suitable disposal mechanism in place,diapers mostly end in the landfills or the surrounding open sapces of our neighbourhoods.As the diapers contain high level of phthalates, there is every possibility that these phthalatesare being leached out to the surrounding environment andimpacting the overall ecosytems including the ground water. And this can pose huge health hazards to the surrounding community aswell.

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