New Tests Confirm TBT Poison in Proctor & Gamble Pampers
- New Tests Confirm TBT Poison in Proctor & Gamble Pampers
- May 15, 2000
HAMBURG -- New tests carried out by Greenpeace found the hormone pollutant TBT (tributyl tin) in "Pampers® Baby Dry Mini" babies' nappies sold in Germany by the company Procter & Gamble. Last Friday, Greenpeace uncovered that TBT and other organotin compounds were found in Procter & Gamble's Pampers® "Baby Dry", in the Paul Hartmann company's "Fixies Ultra Dry", and in LedysanSpa's "United Colours of Benetton® Junior unisex". All tests were proven by scientific analyses made on Greenpeace's behalf.
The new test, during which several parts of "Pampers® Baby Dry Mini" were analyzed, found the highest contamination in the belt section of these nappies. "Pampers® Baby Dry Mini" contained up to 38.4 micrograms of TBT per kilogram, a much higher level then in the first tests of a pool sample published last Friday. (1) Furthermore the inner and outer layer were found to be contaminated. Greenpeace also found other organotin compounds in the Pampers®, including DBT and MBT. If all discovered organotin compounds were added, a total of 53.2 micrograms per kilogram were found.
Greenpeace's scientific test results contradict a statement by Procter & Gamble, in which the company last Friday denied that its nappies were contaminated with organotin compounds. Greenpeace toxics expert Thilo Maack said: "The reaction of Procter & Gamble is a scandal. The company is downplaying the danger instead of actively searching for the source of TBT in Pampers®. It is absolutely irresponsible to expose babies to these extremely toxic substances".
"Fact is that TBT is one of the most toxic substances ever made, and it is being spread through the skin and contaminates the environment as well as people," he noted.
This environmental pollutant, which has been in the headlines for months because of its extremely high toxicity, has a hormone-like effect. The smallest concentrations of TBT can harm people's immune systems and impair their hormonal system. "The German government must ban this toxin in all areas of use immediately," says Thilo Maack.
Greenpeace last January found TBT in fish for human consumption, and in March detected TBT in football shirts despite textile manufacturers declaring them safe again. TBT has furthermore recently been found in plastic PVC floorings. Witco, a company in Bergkamen/Germany, produces 80 per cent of the TBT used in the world. The smallest quantities of TBT kill algae and mussels and for that reason it is used in ships' paints to stop their growth on hulls.
Greenpeace has been calling on the chemical and ship industries to ban its production or application. There are less harmful alternatives to TBT in all the spheres in which organotin compounds are used. Greenpeace is at present analyzing other brands of nappies on sale in Germany. Its findings will be available by the end of this week.