Are baby wipes harmful to the environment

Cologne -

For many, it is part of the standard bathroom equipment: damp toilet paper. In addition to normal toilet paper, it should ensure intensive cleaning and a pleasant feeling on the skin. But the apparently practical helper is not only extremely bad for the environment, it can even be harmful to health and cause unpleasant, allergic reactions.

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Wet wipes can cause allergic reactions

Especially people who suffer from hemorrhoids, for example, often use moist toilet paper to help, explains a doctor in an interview with Fitbook. The alcohol contained in the wipes gives users the feeling of disinfection - but this is not the case. Instead of cleaning, the alcohol it contains attacks the skin and dries it out heavily. In addition, the fragrances in the wet wipes are extremely questionable: They could trigger contact allergies and thus cause rashes and itching. That is why people with skin diseases in the anal area should refrain from using these products.

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According to the expert, a moist environment in the anal region is also rather questionable for healthy people. Since the local flora in the area of ​​the anus is naturally colonized with bacteria and fungi, the development of infections is favored by a region that is kept permanently moist.

Toilet paper or washcloths are sufficient for cleaning

The consumer magazine “Öko-Test” examined more than a dozen moist toilet papers in 2014 and this year again tested 19 baby wipes. In both series of tests, the experts' judgments were rather negative. While only half of all baby wipes that were advertised with the labels “sensitive” or “perfume-free” received a good rating, in the 2014 test five of the products received the worst rating: “poor”.

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Often the products contained harmful ingredients such as PEG / PEG derivatives. These serve as emulsifiers or surfactants, but at the same time can make the skin more permeable to foreign substances. Controversial organohalogen compounds were also found in some of the moist toilet paper. These are suspected of causing cancer and irritating the mucous membranes even in small quantities.

The website “Consumer Windows Hessen.de” also declares that it is considered a certain fact that normal water is quite sufficient and suitable for cleaning. A washcloth with warm water is usually sufficient to clean a sensitive baby's bottom.

Damp toilet paper clogs drain pipes

In addition, the sheets of moist toilet paper are particularly tear-resistant and durable. To achieve this, the cloths are made from textile fibers - so-called fleece. If consumers dispose of this material like normal toilet paper in the toilet, this can lead to severe blockages in the sewer system, as the German press agency reported. Because the textile fibers do not dissolve in water - like normal toilet paper made of cellulose - but remain in their original form for a long time. Lumps and balls can form in the sewage system and clog pipes - with unsightly consequences for consumers and sewage treatment plants.

Consumers should better dispose of wet wipes in the garbage can - or not use them at all. Because even adults can confidently do without damp toilet paper - and not only protect the environment, but also one of the most sensitive parts of the body.

(chy)