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Mom concerned about disposable diaper safety

11:54 AM, Jan 3, 2014   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Disposable diapers have come a long way since being invented in the '50s. They're popular and convenient but there's always that lingering question: are disposable diapers safe? 

Fawn Boyle, mother of three, is now asking that question. 

"It started as a rash, it was kind of like bubbly on the bottom at first," said Boyle, "I had no idea what it could possibly be."

Boyle said she has used disposable diapers before with her older children, but this time, it created a different result with her seven-month-old. 

"Her skin broke out all over, on her buttocks and on the front of her body, as a chemical reaction to the product," said Boyle.

The product was the Huggies Snug and Dry Plus disposable diaper. Boyle had used it before, but now she wants to know if the product is safe.

"My concern as a mother is I want other people to know that the product may harm them," she said. 

And she is not alone. A search of the internet found a similar complaint, but there was no conclusive evidence in that case the child's skin damage was related to the disposable diaper. 

Disposable diapers are big business, set to reaching $52 billion a year in sales globally by 2017.

Companies are not required to list the ingredients of their products, but disposable all follow the same basic model and safety is always being questioned.

This is a sample of the different investigations and results.

-In 2009, the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health said there isn't enough acrylic acid in disposable diapers to raise concern.

-In 2008, Clinics in Dermatology cited one case of a possible allergic reaction and that was in an adult.

-In 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission investigated 4,700 incident reports about diaper rash and concluded there was "No Specific Cause Found Yet Linking Dry Max Diapers to Diaper Rash."

Boyle contacted the manufacturer of her product, Kimberly Clark, and now they too are investigating.

"I'm gonna send them a couple of diapers because they want to do further testing on the product," said Boyle.

In the meantime, she has placed her daughter on a different type of diaper.

Company spokesperson Bob Brand said in a statement:

"At HUGGIES, nothing is more important that the safety of the little ones who use our products. Families have put their trust in HUGGIES diapers for decades and all of our diapers have been thoroughly tested to ensure they are safe ... "

" ... we are always troubled by any report of skin irritation. In each and every case, we try to work closely with moms to learn about their individual situation to ensure that out products can better meet their needs and help inform our ongoing product development."

"All of our products must pass stringent safety reviews prior to making it to retailer shelf ... there is no indication that this complaint is part of larger product issues. While complaints of this nature are unusual, we thoroughly investigate each one to ensure we are doing all we can to continue our commitment of providing safe and effective products."

"We take our responsibility to provide families with products they can use with confidence very seriously, and will continue to do everything we can to understand what occurred and how we can help."

Brand said diaper rash or skin irritation can be caused by a number of reasons and they always encourage parents to consult their child's pediatrician.

First Coast News

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