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'Preservatives overused' in wet wipes
11.08.2017

    Wet wipes, including some marked suitable for babies, have been found wanting by the city’s market watchdog.

    Most wet wipes tested by the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau didn’t mark the preservatives used, officials said. There was also overuse of preservatives.

    The bureau tested 45 batches of wet wipes. Among them, 35 batches were found to contain at least one of 17 preservatives the bureau was targeting, including many batches of baby wet wipes. Only 15.6 percent among the 45 batches marked one or more of the preservatives, according to the bureau.

    The most common preservative used was benzoic acid, with 10 batches found to have it, among which eight batches were used by infants. It was followed by paraben and phenoxyethyl alcohol, each found in eight batches.

    Adding preservatives helps to control health risks from microbial contamination, but preservatives are also irritating and allergic to skin and mucous membranes, and children are particularly vulnerable, officials said.

    The fewer preservatives in wet wipes, the better, they said. Consumers are advised to choose wet wipes that don’t have any odor.