Thursday

2nd Feb 2023

Letter

Right of Reply: 'Dangerous' nappies in the EU

  • Trade association responds to Monday's EUobserver op-ed 'Are there dangerous chemicals in disposable nappies in EU?' (Photo: Wikipedia)
Listen to article

Dear Editor,

EDANA and its members, the trade association for non-woven products, who produce more than 80 percent of all disposable nappies sold in the EU, are very concerned at a series of misleading reports that contain highly inaccurate claims about nappies.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

These claims are unfounded and alarmist and are likely to cause unnecessary stress and worry to the millions of families who use our products every day.

The safety of our products is an absolute priority for our industry.

Manufacturers ensure that all products comply with all relevant European and national legislation relating to chemicals and product safety and are safe for their intended and foreseeable use.

Our members have launched a Stewardship Programme for Absorbent Hygiene Products which goes beyond EU legal obligations to ensure the maximum level of safety of and transparency on our products.

These misleading claims are based on a highly selective use of data published over the years by French authorities and that have been reported out of context.

The same French authority reported in 2020 that diapers were safe.

In response to concerns raised by the French authorities in 2019, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was asked to review whether the presence of certain chemicals in disposable nappies could pose a threat to human health.

Following a very thorough investigation, ECHA concluded that a risk could not be demonstrated and pointed out uncertainties and shortcomings in the analytical method used for testing, stating that "the reliability of the analytical results is likely to be severely affected" by these uncertainties.

While there were trace levels of some contaminants in some products, they were not enough to pose a risk.

Such contaminants are not intentionally added to nappies nor are they used in the manufacturing processes. They are found in the external environment including in many foodstuffs and they do not present any health risk.

For example, formaldehyde is found in higher trace levels in organic materials such as fruit (where the level is 200 times higher than in nappies) or milk (where the level is 10 times higher).

Yours sincerely,

EDANA

Author bio

EDANA helps its members to design their future, serving more than 300 companies in the nonwovens and related industries, across over 30 countries. Its mission is to create the foundation for sustainable growth of the nonwovens and related industries through active promotion, education and dialogue.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

Are there dangerous chemicals in disposable nappies in EU?

One of the first opportunities for the EU Commission to 'walk its talk' is to support the proposal for a broad restriction of harmful chemicals in single-use diapers that millions of children wear everyday across the continent.

Europe is giving more aid to Ukraine than you think

'Europeans need to pull their weight in Ukraine. They should pony up more funds.' Such has been the chorus since the start of the war. The problem is the argument isn't borne out by the facts, at least not anymore.

Column

Democracy — is it in crisis or renaissance?

Countries that were once democratising are now moving in the other direction — think of Turkey, Myanmar, Hungary or Tunisia. On the other hand, in autocracies mass mobilisation rarely succeeds in changing political institutions. Think of Belarus, Iran or Algeria.

More money, more problems in EU answer to US green subsidies

Industrial energy-intense sectors, outside Germany and France, will not move to the US. They will go bust, as they cannot compete in a fragmented single market. So to save industry in two member states, we will kill the rest?

Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters

The ECHR ruled that Russia was in "effective control" of separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine from 11 May 2014. In doing so, the court has formally acknowledged the inter-state character of the conflict and Russia's culpability for human rights abuses.

Europe is giving more aid to Ukraine than you think

'Europeans need to pull their weight in Ukraine. They should pony up more funds.' Such has been the chorus since the start of the war. The problem is the argument isn't borne out by the facts, at least not anymore.

More money, more problems in EU answer to US green subsidies

Industrial energy-intense sectors, outside Germany and France, will not move to the US. They will go bust, as they cannot compete in a fragmented single market. So to save industry in two member states, we will kill the rest?

Latest News

  1. MEPs launch anonymous drop-box for shady lobbying secrets
  2. Hawkish ECB rate-rise 'puts energy transition at risk'
  3. MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils
  4. How Pavel won big as new Czech president — and why it matters
  5. French official to take on Islamophobia in EU
  6. EU green industry plan could spark 'dangerous subsidy race'
  7. Wolves should be defended, EU ministers urge
  8. EU Commission wants drones for Bulgaria on Turkey border

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Party of the European LeftJOB ALERT - Seeking a Communications Manager (FT) for our Brussels office!
  2. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  3. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  4. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  5. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us