French nappies found to contain weedkiller and other potentially toxic chemicals | World News
Potentially toxic substances, including a widely-used weedkiller linked to cancer, have been discovered in nappies made and sold in France.
Environment agency ANSES revealed its findings in a new study published on Wednesday, with scientists testing 23 types of nappies as they were worn by children.
The tests uncovered butylphenyl methylpropional – used in beauty products – and some aromatic hydrocarbons.
The weedkiller chemical found was glyphosate, which has been linked to cancer and had been subjected to attempts by some European leaders to have it banned.
Regarding its discovery in nappies made in the country, the government said it was vital that manufacturers and retailers ensured the substance was removed.
In a joint statement, the health, environment and finance ministries said: “We call on manufacturers and retailers to take measures within the next 15 days to eliminate these substances from babies’ nappies.”
Health minister Agnes Buzyn also moved to assure parents that there was no immediate risk to their children, and said the report was “a precaution to protect our children from possible effects”.
She added: “Obviously we should continue putting nappies on our babies – we’ve been doing that for at least 50 years.”
President Emmanuel Macron has previously said he wanted the glyphosate to be completely phased out, but farmers are likely to be exempt as there are no credible alternatives.
As well as being potentially dangerous to humans, scientists have warned that the controversial pesticide could also be killing bees.
But it remains registered in around 130 countries, including the UK, where it is commonly used to spray pests.