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Parliamentary questions
5 November 2013
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Christine De Veyrac (PPE)

 Subject:  Toxic substances in baby wipes

Phenoxyethanol is an aromatic ether contained in baby wipes that has been shown to cause skin allergies and neurological disorders in adults. In France, the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) has recommended that it should not be used in products designed for children.

EU regulations currently limit the maximum concentration of phenoxyethanol in beauty and hygiene products to 1%. This percentage still seems too high in the eyes of the French agency, which would like to reduce it to 0.4% in hygiene products designed for young children. This is of particular importance given that this type of product is used on average six times a day and is not necessarily rinsed.

According to a survey published in France this week, most wipes and cleansing milks are potentially harmful to babies. A consumer organisation had 34 consumer products tested in a laboratory. The results, which it described as ‘alarming’, revealed that 26 wipes and 6 cleansing milks contained products that were harmful to human health.

Does the Commission intend to respond to those French associations that are calling on it to strengthen EU legislation on these products designed for young children (who are particularly vulnerable) in order to ensure that they are no longer exposed to potentially harmful products?

Original language of question: FROJ C 228, 17/07/2014
Last updated: 20 November 2013Legal notice