13th Aug 2022


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,


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.


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.

EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive

The EU needs to be clear eyed about China's new diplomatic charm offensive, as it's more likely driven by short-term necessity than any fundamental policy re-assessment.

Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy

The Belgian parliament's recent decision to ratify its prisoner-exchange treaty with Iran is a grave mistake, and one which exemplifies the many downfalls of dealing with Iran's human-rights abuses on a case-by-case basis.

Russia puts EU in nuclear-energy paradox

There's unprecedented international anxiety about the safety of Ukraine's nuclear reactors, but many European countries are also turning to nuclear power to secure energy supplies.

How Ukraine made the case anew for an EU army

The Kremlin attacked Ukraine because it believed it could afford to. It perceived nuclear deterrence between Russia and the West as reciprocal, and therefore almost a non-issue. It also saw, in military terms, Europe is disappearing from the world map.


Global hunger crisis requires more than just the Odessa deal

International donors are playing hide and seek. Instead of stepping up their assistance programmes, richer nations are cutting overseas aid, or reallocating funds from other parts of the world towards the Ukraine crisis.

Exploiting the Ukraine crisis for Big Business

From food policy to climate change, corporate lobbyists are exploiting the Ukraine crisis to try to slash legislation that gets in the way of profit. But this is only making things worse.

News in Brief

  1. Germany to help nationals cope with energy price spike
  2. Germany wants pipeline from Portugal
  3. Ukraine urges US to sanction all Russian banks
  4. Spain evacuates 294 Afghans
  5. EU sanctions have 'limited' effect of Russian oil production
  6. Donors pledge €1.5bn to Ukraine's war effort
  7. Sweden overtakes France as EU's top power exporter
  8. Italy's far-right star in European charm offensive

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season
  2. Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey
  3. EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive
  4. Forest fire near Bordeaux forces over 10,000 to flee
  5. Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties
  6. Russian coal embargo kicks in, as EU energy bills surge
  7. Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy
  8. Kosovo PM warns of renewed conflict with Serbia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us