Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Dermal Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Baby Diapers: A Critical Review of the Quantitative Health Risk Assessment Con-Ducted by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES)

Version 1 : Received: 29 July 2021 / Approved: 30 July 2021 / Online: 30 July 2021 (23:52:09 CEST)

How to cite: Bernard, A. Dermal Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Baby Diapers: A Critical Review of the Quantitative Health Risk Assessment Con-Ducted by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES). Preprints 2021, 2021070710 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0710.v1). Bernard, A. Dermal Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Baby Diapers: A Critical Review of the Quantitative Health Risk Assessment Con-Ducted by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES). Preprints 2021, 2021070710 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0710.v1).

Abstract

In January 2019, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) published an opinion on risks related to the presence of hazardous chemicals in infant diapers. ANSES found that health reference values were largely exceeded for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins (PCCD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorobiphenyls (DL-PCBs). The levels of formaldehyde and of some fragrances were also considered potentially unsafe. Therefore, ANSES concluded that actions have to be taken to restrict levels of these contaminants in diapers. Under the exposure scenario deemed the most reliable by ANSES, estimates of cancer risks of the most potent PAHs detected in diapers exceeded 10-3 and hazard quotients for neurobehavioral effects attained values up to 66. Regarding dioxins and DL-PCBs, ANSES derived a hazard quotient of 12 for the risk of decreased sperm count at adult age. The aim of this critical review was to examine whether the exposure and risk assessment conducted by ANSES contained potential flaws that could explain such a high exceedance of health reference values. The review will also put into perspective the exposure from diapers with that from breast milk whose benefits for child’s health are undisputable despite contamination by PAHs, dioxins and DL-PCBS.

Keywords

diaper, dioxin; dioxin-like polychlorobiphenyls; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; formaldehyde; fragrance.

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