We all know that most babies can wear disposable diapers and be just fine. Most babies do wear disposable diapers and are just fine. Unfortunately, some babies are not just fine. If you have one of these babies, your heart is probably pounding reading these words. If you don't, you don't. That's ok. You should still keep reading. You'll find this interesting.
Product labeling laws generally ensure that you, the consumer, know what you're buying.
Baby clothing is labeled. Baby care items are labeled. Baby food is labeled. No matter what, you get to know, before you buy it, if your baby's pants are cotton or polyester. You get to choose what your baby wears. You know, before you buy them, what is in your baby wipes. You know what is in your baby food. You have a choice.
By contrast, your baby's disposable diapers are virtually unlabeled. No textile labels. No ingredient lists. No disclosure. Lots of secrets. Very little regulation. No required testing beyond basic CPSIA tests for lead & phthalates. And when you ask for detailed information about what is in the diapers your baby is wearing, disposable diaper companies don't have to tell you anything.
If you ask about your baby's shirt, there are no secrets.
If you ask about your baby's pants, there are no secrets.
If you ask about your baby's food, there are no secrets.
It's on the label. The law says it has to be.
Because your baby is wearing a disposable diaper, there are secrets.
Baby diapers are not considered medical devices by the FDA. Unlike adult disposable diapers, baby diaper companies are not required to go through medical device testing to prove that disposable baby diapers are medically safe for a baby to wear.
Baby diapers are not regulated as cosmetics by the FDA. Baby diapers may contain ingredients (like petrolatum, oils, or other lotions) that are cosmetic ingredients and may be intended to help prevent diaper rash, keep a baby's skin soft, or prevent contact with wetness. Baby diaper companies generally do not provide parents with a full, detailed, INCI compliant list of ingredients in disposable diapers.
Baby diapers are not considered clothing (garments) by the FTC. Specifically DISPOSABLE baby diapers are nearly the only thing worn by a human, other than a hat or a disposable menstrual pad, where product or package labeling isn't mandated by law to fully disclose the amount and type of materials used in the garment. Disposable baby diapers are one of the only garments worn by a baby not required by law to include care or content labels.
Why does this matter?
Baby diapers are worn by babies, next to their genitals, for two to three years. Babies are exposed to everything in that diaper. Every fabric, woven or non-woven. Every chemical, intended or unintended. Nearly every other garment in our society has to be fully labeled. Everything. Even socks! Why aren't baby diapers fully labeled? Why don't we get to know everything our baby is being exposed to in a diaper?
As a mom, you should get to know what is in your baby's diapers. If you want to avoid a certain ingredient, you should be able to avoid that ingredient. A disposable diaper is worn next to the skin and should be considered a garment. The composition of all textiles, woven or non-woven, should be disclosed on the packaging. If the diaper includes any chemical ingredients, a full INCI-compliant ingredient list should also be disclosed on the packaging. Babies are tiny with delicate, sensitive skin. Parents deserve to be active decision makers in their baby's care. Disposable diaper ingredients should not be kept secret from parents.
For your baby's sake, demand, today, that the FTC and the FDA eliminate product labeling exclusions for disposable baby diapers.
Sign this petition. Tell them. #IGetToKnow what is in my baby's diapers.
Disclose all ingredients in disposable baby diapers
Jennifer Labit started this petition with a single signature, and now has 4,284 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.