Fertility

Baby Wipes Recall 2022: Affected Brands & Toxic Products

Updated on 13 May 2022 • 9 minute read

 

Overview

Baby wipes are among the postpartum essentials you need to prepare for your baby. They’re handy for diaper changes and cleaning your baby’s face and other body parts.

However, because your baby’s immune system is still developing and their skin is more sensitive than adults, it’s important to choose safe products. 

Always check for safety alerts or announcements on baby wipes recall. Sometimes, some brands might pull out their products due to safety and quality issues. It’s also good to watch for these safety and recall notices.

Which baby wipe brands and products have been recalled? Is there a Parent’s Choice Baby Wipes recall? Is there a recall on Huggies wipes? If yes, why? What baby wipes are toxic, and why have Johnson’s baby wipes been discontinued?

You can find answers to these questions below.

 

Baby Wipes Recall & Safety Issues 2022 

Have Parent’s Choice (Walmart) Wipes Been Recalled?

Parent’s Choice formulas and baby wipes were trending for weeks beginning in late April 2022 due to reports of a possible recall. However, Walmart hadn’t issued a recent Parent’s Choice formula recall or baby wipe recall.

The unconfirmed rumors began after Walmart pulled out 18 lots of its house brand, Parent’s Choice baby wipes (both scented and unscented), from store shelves over a “quality issue.” (1)

The retail giant hasn’t issued an official statement to recall any of these products as of press time but told the Miami Herald that consumers would get a refund for the products. (1)

A photo of a supposed product removal alert sent to Walmart stores circulated on online forums and social media (Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter), one of which was posted by user @presleybrookee on Twitter.

 

Lot Numbers Of Parent’s Choice Wipes In Walmart’s Alleged Removal Notice

The product removal notice posted on social media listed the following specific lot numbers of the Walmart store brand: (1)

  • L22075
  • L22076
  • L22077
  • L22078
  • L22079
  • L22080
  • L22081
  • L22082
  • L22083
  • L22084
  • L22085
  • L22089
  • L22090
  • L22091
  • L22092
  • L22093
  • L22094
  • L22095

 

Employees were directed to remove these products from shelves and send them to the Return Centers. 

Note that Walmart hasn’t issued an official recall or released an official list of affected products. But Walmart outlets are accepting returns and issuing refunds to concerned customers.

 

Heavy Metals & Arsenic Fears: Rumors About The Baby Wipes Spread Online

A trending post on BabyCenter also fueled the rumors after someone claimed that the wipes turn orange color and cause a burning sensation or diaper rash. The post further claimed that the color doesn’t come off and might be due to exposure to heavy metals (e.g., mercury and arsenic). 

However, these social media rumors appear to be unfounded. (2)

BabyCenter has since removed the post, explaining that they did so to “remove some inaccuracies.”

 

Baby Wipes Recall 2021

Is There A Recall On Huggies Wipes?

Yes. On December 24, 2021, Kimberly-Clark Australia recalled two lots of their Huggies Thick Baby Wipes Fragrance-Free – Limited Edition Tropical with the following details: (3)

  • Batch codes: B21072004 and D21072005
  • Designs: The Little Mermaid and Toy Story (Rex the dinosaur)
  • Sizes: 80s and 3 x 80s pack
  • Production date: 21 July 2021
  • Selling dates: Around 1 October 2021 and onwards

 

These products were sold exclusively through Woolworths in Australia.

 

Why Were Huggies Wipes Recalled?

According to the recall advisory, these wipes were recalled due to bacterial contamination. Tests showed the presence of Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacea). Although it doesn’t pose a medical risk to healthy people, it can cause serious health complications or bacterial infections for those with weakened immune systems. (3)

Customers who bought these products were instructed to stop using them immediately, take a photo of the product with its batch code, then destroy or dispose of the recalled items.

Affected consumers were directed to call the Huggies team at 1800 028 334 from Monday to Friday, from 8 AM to 4 PM AEST, or through the contact form on their website kimberly-clark.com.au.

They can choose to receive a full refund, replacement products, or gift cards.

 

Baby Wipes Safety Issue 2020

Johnson’s Wipes & Rashes

Johnson & Johnson stopped shipping its Johnson’s Cottontouch Extra Sensitive Wipes in the UK due to complaints that it caused painful rashes and blistering to some babies. (4)

Gemma Adamson from Tadworth, Surrey, claimed that her two kids were left in tears after experiencing red rashes and “burns” on their faces. When she complained about it to ASDA (the British supermarket chain she bought it from), she was reportedly told that they would send the product to Johnson’s for testing. (5)

Both ASDA and Johnson’s announced that they were investigating the matter, but no recall was issued. (4)(5)

Some parents said that they’ve been using the product for months without any problems. So, they were surprised when their kids suddenly developed a sensitive reaction to the new batch of baby wipes they bought. (4)

Johnson & Johnson told the Daily Mail UK that they stopped shipping the products out of an abundance of caution while they were investigating the matter. (4)

 

Why Have Johnson’s Baby Wipes Been Discontinued?

In an announcement on its official website in the UK, the company explains that it discontinued Johnson’s Baby Wipes for business reasons. (6)

In a statement, the company insisted that there aren’t any safety concerns about the wipes, so parents can continue using the product if they still have some at home. (6)

 

Available Johnson’s Wipes

As of May 2022, other Johnson’s wipes are still available on the brand’s official website in the US and various online stores, including:

  • Johnson’s Hand And Face Wipes 
  • Johnson’s Baby Skincare Wipes
  • Johnson’s Germ Baby Wipes
  • Johnson’s Extra Sensitive Wipes
  • Johnson’s Baby Gentle All Over Wipes

 

Baby Wipes Recall 2017

The Honest Company Baby Wipes Recalled Due To Mold

In May 2017, actress Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company recalled certain lots of baby wipes for possible mold contamination. (7)

According to company co-founder Christoper Gavigan, they recalled the products for the potential presence of mold, which can cause discoloration or staining. (7)

The affected lots had the following UPCs (Universal Product Code): (7)

  • 10-count packages: 0817810011276, 0816645024079, and 0817810011276
  • 72-count packages: 0817810011863, 7000000011863, 0816645023584, and 0816645023591
  • 288-count packages: 0817810014680
  • 576-count packages: 0817810028540

 

You can find these numbers at the back of the wipes’ packaging.

Affected consumers can call the company for questions and refund processing at 888-862-8818 from 5 AM to 5 PM Pacific time, from Monday to Friday.

All affected consumers were instructed to return the recalled items to get a full refund from the stores where they bought the products.

 

Baby Wipes Safety Concerns 2015

Glass Shard Issue Of Huggies Baby Wipes

In August 2015, Melissa Estrella, a mom from Camarillo, CA, posted a Facebook video about “shards of glass” that she allegedly found in her daughter’s Huggies baby wipes. (8)

The video went viral, gaining over 6.4 million views before Estrella took it down after striking a deal with Jukin Media, a viral video licensing firm. (8)

According to reports, this video showed Estrella opening three packages of Huggies baby wipes and brushing off what looked like glass shards with her fingers. (8)

She claimed that she also used the product to wipe her face but was hurt and felt that something stabbed her. (8)

 

Did Huggies Issue A Recall?

No. In response to these allegations, Huggies released a statement that they aren’t using any glass material to manufacture baby wipes. (8)

Although Huggies didn’t issue a product recall, the Kmart store chain in Guam, a US territory, decided to pull these products off their shelves as a safety precaution. (9)

The store was praised for its “reactiveness” in keeping customers safe while waiting for any official announcement from Kimberly-Clark, the manufacturer of Huggies.

After Kmart pulled out the Huggies baby wipes, a Guam resident reportedly approached the store to complain about it. Amparo Cruz from Barrigada, Guam, bought the wipes from Kmart. (9)

Like the packs in Estrella’s viral video, Cruz also reported finding glass shards in the Huggies packs she bought from the store. (9)

She alleged that her daughter was treated for an infection on her buttocks, though she couldn’t also say that it was due to the wipes. However, she believed that the wipes might have been the source of her daughter’s infection. (9)

 

Baby Wipes 2014 Recall

Massive Recall Of Baby Wipes Made By Nutek Disposables

In October 2014, ten brands of baby wipes by Nutek Disposables, Inc. of Pennsylvania were recalled for possible contamination with bacteria. (10)

  • Cuties (all lots sold online and via different retailers)
  • Diapers.com (all lots sold at Diapers.com)
  • Femtex (all lots sold at Family Dollar)
  • Fred’s (all lots sold at Fred’s Stores)
  • Kidgets (all lots sold at Family Dollar)
  • Member’s Mark (all lots sold at Sam’s Club)
  • Simply Right (all lots sold at Sam’s Club)
  • Sunny Smiles (all lots sold at Walgreens)
  • Tender Touch (all lots sold online and via different retailers)
  • Well Beginnings (all lots manufactured by Nutek, sold at Walgreens)

 

These recalled baby wipe brands were sold in various retailers (online and retail stores), including the following: (10)

  • Amazon.com
  • Diapers.com
  • Walgreens
  • Sam’s Club
  • Family Dollar 
  • Fred’s Stores

 

After receiving complaints from customers about the discoloration and bad odor, Nutek Disposables tested some of these wipes.

They issued the product recall after some of the products tested positive for Burkholderia cepacia. (10)

Although this bacteria isn’t usually a health risk for healthy people, it can be dangerous for those with a weakened immune system, lung diseases, or cystic fibrosis (a life-threatening congenital disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system). (10)

Customers were told to contact Nutek Disposables, Inc. at 855-646-4351, from Monday to Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM, for any questions regarding the product recall.

They can get a full refund for the wipes from the stores where they purchased the recalled products.

 

Safety With Baby Wipes

Ingredients To Avoid

Baby wipes with the following ingredients can be toxic or harmful to your baby:

  • Fragrances – there’s an ongoing debate on whether or not fragrances can cause cancer and other serious health risks, but many parents believe it’s best to avoid any products with fragrances (11)(12)
  • Parabens – preservatives that can mimic estrogen in the body, influence abnormal breast cell growth, and increase cancer risks (13)
  • Phthalates – these might not be listed but can be found in scented baby products; they can disrupt the endocrine system and multiple organ functions (14)
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine – it can be an irritant (15)
  • Polysorbate 20 – it can contain 1,4 dioxane, a chemical linked to liver cancer (16)
  • Phenoxyethanol – it can also have 1,4 dioxane content (17)
  • PEG (polyethylene glycol) – might also have 1,4 dioxane (17)
  • Propylene glycol – a petroleum-based chemical that can irritate your baby’s skin (18)
  • Benzyl alcohol – it can be an irritant and cause moderate skin inflammation (19)
  • Sodium benzoate – some studies show that it might affect the cerebellum (a part of the brain) and cause or worsen ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) (20)(21)
  • Triclosan – this preservative has antimicrobial properties, but it can cause irritation and immunosuppression (22)

 

What Baby Wipes Are Toxic?

Some brands or products that can contain the harmful ingredients listed above:

  • Huggies Natural Care Sensitive Baby Wipes – has Polysorbate 20
  • Pampers Baby Wipes Complete Clean Baby Fresh Scent – has fragrance, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, and sodium benzoate
  • Johnson’s Hand and Face Wipes – has sodium benzoate and fragrance
  • Kirkland Signature Baby Wipes – has sodium benzoate
  • Burt’s Bees Baby Wipes – has sodium benzoate and benzyl alcohol
  • Eco by Naty Aloe Vera Baby Wipes – has sodium benzoate

 

Because baby wipes have to stay moist, they need some preservatives to prevent mold and bacterial growth. 

Still, it’s good to check the label and avoid baby wipes or other baby products with the harmful preservatives mentioned above.

 

Healthier Baby Wipes

Some brands with the least chemical ingredients and are free from sodium benzoate and other ingredients listed above:

  • Parasol Co Clear+Pure Baby Wipes
  • Bloom Baby Banana Milk Sensitive Skin Baby Wipes
  • Jackson Reece Kinder by Nature Unscented Baby Wipes
  • Earth’s Best TenderCare Unscented Chlorine-Free Baby Wipes

 

How To Check If A Baby Product Is Recalled

It’s important to regularly check for any recalls on products you use for your baby. 

 

Here are other ways to check if your baby products have been recalled:

 

Check Official Federal Websites

  • fda.gov of the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) – for food, medicine, baby formula, and other baby product recall
  • cpsc.gov of the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) – for children’s and household products
  • nhtsa.gov of the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) – for car seat and vehicle recalls
  • recalls.gov

 

Check Brand & Retailer Websites

Check your product’s official website for any safety announcements or recall notices. For example, check gerber.com for Gerber product recalls or pfizer.com for Pfizer product recalls.

Some popular brands, such as Similac (similacrecall.com), have a dedicated site for recall announcements.

You can also check the recall sections of online retailers such as Amazon, buybuy BABY, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart for relevant information.

 

Examine The Products At Home

Different products have different places to display their lot codes or product numbers.

For the Parent’s Choice baby wipes, for example, the lot numbers are found on the upper front portion of the box.

 

Product & Food Safety For Babies

Wipes & Diaper Safety

Because babies have sensitive skin, it’s important to check for gentle and safe products.

In buying baby wipes and disposable diapers, for example, you can check the brands’ official websites (e.g., Pampers or Huggies) for any recall notices, safety issues, or information on whether these are free from harsh and toxic chemicals that can cause diaper rash.

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) tips for the proper use of baby wipes and diapers: (23)

  • Always use fresh baby wipes or diapers when cleaning your baby. Don’t recycle them.
  • Always wipe your baby from front to back.
  • Keep dirty diapers, wipes, and clothes from any surface that’s difficult to clean.
  • Put the used wipes inside the dirty diaper.
  • Dispose of these dirty diapers and used baby wipes into a diaper pail or a plastic-lined lidded trash bin.
  • Use diaper cream if needed.
  • Put a fresh diaper on and fasten lightly (don’t make it too tight).
  • After each diaper change, wash your child’s hands with soap and water.

 

Baby Food & Formula Safety

Regularly monitor for any baby food and formula recalls or safety alerts, especially those involving bacterial contamination for Salmonella or Cronobacter, which can be deadly or cause serious infections in babies. (24)

 

 

 

References

(1) https://www.miamiherald.com/news/recalls/article261064982.html

(2) https://www.snopes.com/news/2022/05/04/parents-choice-baby-wipes-recalled/

(3) https://www.huggies.com.au/limited-edition-baby-wipes-recall

(4) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7999099/Johnson-Johnson-launch-investigation-mothers-claim-children-left-burn-marks.html

(5) https://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2020/02/14/baby-wipe-range-withdrawn-by-johnson-johnson-after-parents-report-burns-to-childrens-faces/

(6) https://www.johnsonsbaby.co.uk/baby-products/wipes

(7) https://www.cbsnews.com/news/honest-company-baby-wipes-recall-mold/

(8) https://ktla.com/news/local-news/huggies-responds-to-reports-of-glass-shards-on-baby-wipes/

(9) https://www.guampdn.com/news/local/kmart-pulls-wipes/article_70042d60-edb0-52b9-9174-2d059b4c4608.html

(10) https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/baby-wipes-recalled-possible-bacteria-contamination/68045/

(11) https://www.cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/chemicals/cosmetics.html

(12) https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/expert-panel-confirms-fragrance-ingredient-can-cause-cancer

(13) https://www.bcpp.org/resource/parabens/

(14) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8157593/

(15) https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-you-asked/does-ingredient-cocamidopropyl-betaine-found-some-personal-care-products-cause-dermatitis

(16) https://wwwn.cdc.gov/TSP/ToxFAQs/ToxFAQsDetails.aspx?faqid=954&toxid=199#

(17) https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/potential-contaminants-cosmetics/14-dioxane-cosmetics-manufacturing-byproduct

(18) https://wwwn.cdc.gov/TSP/ToxFAQs/ToxFAQsDetails.aspx?faqid=1121&toxid=240

(19) https://datasheets.scbt.com/sc-326216.pdf

(20) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4362157/

(21) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2137120/

(22) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6126357/

(23) https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/diapering/in-the-home.html

(24) https://www.cdc.gov/cronobacter/infection-and-infants.html

 

 

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