A new generation of diapers is being made with organic ingredients.
But many brands of diapers and baby wipes are misleading consumers about the health effects of their products, according to a report by Consumer Reports.
“The average consumer is not really aware of the potential risks that they’re placing on themselves,” said Consumer Reports senior consumer advocate Liz Stenzel.
Stenzel said consumers should be aware that the vast majority of diaper brands do not carry a “No Tricks” policy on their products.
That means they don’t test on animals, nor do they carry out safety studies on their ingredients.
“It’s kind of hard to know what you’re getting when you’re buying diapers,” she said.
“But I think that’s kind for consumers to decide whether or not they want to go into diapers with that in mind.”
The report, which was released Monday, found that diaper manufacturers including Unilever and the American Dads Association, both owned by Unilevers parent company, Nestle, are not following the best practices of a new generation.
Unilever is not a trusted brand for newborns, Stenizer said.
“There’s no way that we would recommend this baby diaper for a newborn, let alone a baby,” she told CNNMoney.
The company also does not carry out animal testing, but does test on humans.
“We have tested on the American Association of Pediatrics guidelines for infant care, but they don, too, which is a great reason why we don’t recommend this product for babies under 2 months old,” she added.
Some brands are also misleading about the potential health effects they are posing to infants.
Some babies may be exposed to pesticides in baby wipes, and others may be allergic to certain ingredients, according the Consumer Reports report.
While many brands are showing the public that they are “green” in their approach to the environment, they still are misleading about what they are putting into the mouths of babies.
For example, Unileves Pure Choice, a “family” brand, claims that the “pesticides used in baby care products are safe and effective” and “generally effective at reducing adverse effects of pesticide exposure.”
But the FDA warns against using products labeled “organic” or “organic-friendly,” as those products may contain pesticides.
“Most organic diaper manufacturers are using non-organic pesticides that are highly toxic and may cause adverse health effects on infants and young children,” the FDA’s website says.
“To help consumers avoid using chemicals that may cause harm to children, the FDA encourages consumers to choose products from organic and non-natural diaper manufacturers that contain a low level of pesticide,” the agency says.
Consumer Reports says its research also found that infant diapers have been shown to contain pesticides in “significant quantities.”
“If a baby’s diaper is not clean enough for the baby to breathe, then the diaper’s chemicals may be present in the baby’s bloodstream and may be a potential source of toxicant exposure,” the report says.
The group says that babies should not be exposed “to levels of pesticide residues or toxicants that exceed the acceptable safety threshold set by the FDA.”
In a statement, Nestlé said the company follows all federal and state laws regarding food and food packaging.
“All of Nestle’s brands are 100% organic, including Pure Choice and Pure.
The Pure Choice Pure Life line of baby diapers is certified organic by the National Organic Program and is approved for human use by the US Department of Agriculture,” the statement read.”
Nestlé does not test on any animals, and we have no plans to do so in the future.”
The company added that the Pure Choice Baby Moms line of diapers, which are manufactured in China, is certified by the World Organic Food Certification Organization (WOFCO).
“As consumers, we believe that a clean, fresh and wholesome product is a better choice for babies and families than one that contains pesticides or synthetic ingredients that may harm or even kill children,” Nestle said in a statement.
The company said it is currently working to ensure its brands continue to adhere to the highest standards.