Friday, June 22, 2012

The Low down on Wipes - Part Five: Huggies frangrance free Wipes

Today I am looking into what exactly Huggies put into Fragrance Free Wipes.

On the pack it says these "gentle Ingredients" are in them (yes they actually say they are gentle)
Potassium laureth Phosphate
Polysorbate 20
Tetrasodium EDTA
Malic Acid
Aloe barbadensis leaf extract
Tocypheryl Acetate

ahh yes it sounds like it must be very gentle hey?  I am not even sure if i could pronounce some of those "gentle" ingredients haha

So lets look at them in a deeper detail and figure out if they really are "gentle":

Water:  Well that is a no brainer that is quite human friendly.

Potassium laureth Phosphate:  Was looked at in Part 4 it is a known skin irritant and toxicant where the long term effects on humans are unknown.

Glycerine:  was Looked at in Part 2, and online sources have listed glycerin as its uses ranging from laxatives to antifreeze.

Polysorbate 20:  Was looked at in Part 3 it is used mainly as a fragrance (but these are fragrance free wipes so why is it there?)  this chemical has been known to have trace amounts of heavy metals in it

Tetrasodium EDTA:  
Tetrasodium EDTA is a water-soluble ingredient used as a chelating agent in cosmetics and personal care products because of its ability to sequester metal ions and allow them to remain in formulas but lose their ability to react with other ingredients. This ability allows it to not only soften water, but preserve formulas as well by improving its stability when it is exposed to air and prevent microbial growth  (link Truth In aging)

Tetrasodium EDTA is a preservative that’s made from the known carcinogen, formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. (see how) t is also a penetration enhancer, meaning it breaks down the skin's protective barrier, going right into your bloodstream. Many companies trying to be "natural" will use Tetrasodium EDTA instead of parabens to preserve their products. In my opinion, Tetrasodium EDTA is just as bad.  (link )
Cosmetic database profile on this chemical   and the cosmeticsInfo page on the chemical
and as a side note here is some info on Formaldehyde  and  Sodium Cyanide

   Methylparaben, or anything ending in “paraben.” These preservatives act like estrogen in the body, throwing off hormonal balance. Parabens have been shown to accumulate in cancerous breast tumors. For more, read this article. (link )
Cosmetic database info on this chemical 
The dangers Of Methylparaben   a cosmetic manufacturer's explanation on this chemical
Is Methylparaben an Enviromental hazard?
Wikipedia page for this chemical

Malic Acid:
Wikipedia page on this chemical
Side effects and benefits of malic acid

Malic acid is a dicarboxylic acid found in many sour or tart-tasting foods. When eaten, it produces a mellow and persistent sour taste. The most common source of this compound is unripe fruit. This acid is also produced within the human body as a part of the citric acid cycle. The salts of malic acid, known as maltates, are an important intermediary step in the cycle.
This acid was originally isolated in an apple by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1785. In 1787, Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, a French chemist, suggested that the newly-discovered acid be named acide malique after the Latin word malum, for apple. Malic acid is crystalline in structure, colorless, and soluble in water.
The most common use of malic acid is in food products, notably in candy and potato chips. Sour candies often use it rather than its sweeter cousin, citric acid, as the sourness is more intense. Salt and vinegar flavored potato chips also use it to produce a tart, vinegar-like flavor. Foods that contain large amounts of malic acid often bear a warning, stating that eating large amounts of the product can cause soreness in the inside of the mouth. (link)
The Cosmetic database profile of this chemical states this chemical may be animal derived (so if you are vegan etc this may not be a wise chemical to use)
More info on the chemical 

wikipedia page for this chemical
Scientists at The University of Pittsburgh have indicated that some unborn babies could be at risk from shampoos and hand lotions containing Methylisothiazoline if their mothers use them during pregnancy.

Methylisothiazoline (Mit) is a common ingredient in many shampoos and hand lotions.

Researchers found that the chemical undermined the growth of structures in the immature nerve cells of unborn rats.

The researchers believe Methylisothiazoline might also affect the developing nervous system of unborn humans.

Team leader, Prof. Elias Aizenman, said more research needs to be carried out. "This chemical is being used more and more extensively, yet there have been no neurotoxicity studies in humans to indicate what kind and at what level exposure is safe. Based on our data, there very well could be neuro-developmental consequences from Mit. I would be particularly concerned about occupational exposure in pregnant women and the possibility of risk to the foetus."  (link)

Truth In Aging points out that this chemical has been linked to Alzheimers, and that it is a known Neurotoxin. 
A safety report on the Chemical lists the following as known reactions to this chemical:
Eye contact – Contact may cause severe eye irritation or chemical burns, which may result in
permanent eye injury.
Skin contact – Contact may cause severe burns with symptoms of pain, local redness, swelling,
and tissue damage. Prolonged or widespread contact may result in allergic skin reactions.
Ingestion – These products can be toxic if swallowed. Large amounts may cause serious injury,
even death.
Inhalation – Heated vapor or mist may cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract (nose and
throat) and lungs.
Other – Similar materials have not caused cancer, birth defects, or fetal effects in animal testing.

Another safety report on the chemical

Aloe barbadensis leaf extract:   Was looked at in Part Three

Tocypheryl Acetate:
Wikipedia page for this chemical
Cosmetic Database profile for this chemical states it is very well known to be linked to cause of cancer.

Tocopherol acetate, also called vitamin E acetate, is a form of vitamin E that combines the vitamin with acetic acid, which is an organic compound that is the main ingredient of vinegar. Tocopherol acetate has many potential nutrition and health applications, and it is commonly found in oral supplements as well as dermatological creams that are applied to your skin. Talk with your doctor before using any form of tocopherol acetate to make sure it is safe for you to use.


Tocopherol acetate is generally regarded as safe and has a very low toxicity rate, according to the "International Journal of Toxicology." When taking within the recommended daily allowance, vitamin E has little to no side effects. However, high doses of tocopherol supplements may impair your body's natural blood clotting ability, which can increase your risk of bleeding. Some physicians recommend discontinuing vitamin E supplementation one month before surgery due to this risk.

Safety Measures/Side Effects:
Tocopheryl Acetate is considered a moderate hazard by the Cosmetics Database, which notes concerns regarding cancer, contamination ofhydroquinone (an FDA-restricted whitening compound), and organ system toxicity. The CIR finds that there is strong evidence that it is a human skin toxicant, and in vitro tests on mammalian cells showed positive mutation results, linking it to cancer.
It has also been determined that Tocopheryl Acetate is a skin sensitizer that can instigate immune system responses that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin, according to The Natural Skincare Authority. A study published in Contact Dermatitis found that four cases of contact dermatitis were caused by cosmetic creams that contained Tocopheryl Acetate. (link) 

How are the Actually Wipes Made? 

Q. What are Huggies Baby Wipes made from?

A. A stretchy non-woven fabric called Coform. Coform is made from a combination of microscopic and continuous plastic fibres and wood pulp (cellulose) fibres that provide gentle care to baby’s skin.(link)

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