Health authorities in France are calling on diaper manufacturers to clean up their disposable baby diapers after testing revealed the diapers contained a number of hazardous chemicals, including glyphosate.
“We are calling on the companies to take necessary measures to make sure nappies are as safe as possible,” French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said in Tweet. “There is no immediate serious risk to the health of children, but it is paramount to take precautions.”
French Environment Minister Francois de Rugy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Marie have joined Buzyn in asking French diaper makers and sellers to develop a plan within 15 days. The companies will be given a grace period of six months to change procedures to eliminate the chemicals.
French health agency Anses conducted what is considered to be the first study of its kind, rooting through disposable diapers to find suspicious chemicals that it says could migrate through urine and come in contact with babies’ skin. In total, 23 brands of diapers sold between 2016 and 2018 were tested, including some that were marketed as “ecological.” Some diapers contained levels of chemicals considered above safety limits.
One of the chemicals found in the diapers was glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen based on studies on farmers who developed acute myeloid leukemia.
In August, a California jury ordered Monsanto, maker of Roundup, to pay a school groundskeeper $289 million after finding his exposure to Roundup contributed to his acute myeloid leukemia diagnosis. Monsanto was acquired by Bayer AG in June.
On Jan. 15, a court in France banned glyphosate-containing Roundup Pro 360 citing health and safety risks.