Disposable Diapers Linked to 'Asthma-Like' Conditions in Mice
After one hour of exposure to the disposable diapers, all three bands led to sensory irritation and decreased breathing capacity. However, the findings were most significant for "brand A" followed by "brand B" and "brand C." Cloth diapers produced only small changes.
Repeat exposures, up to six and 24 hours later, in some cases more than doubled the sensory and pulmonary irritation, and breathing problems with "brand A." For "brand B" the effect was even more dramatic. Negative effects in the mice in that sample at least doubled, and sensory irritation spiked by a multiple of four.
Anderson says "that's a problem" because extended exposure leads to a reaction that "has a life of its own."
According to the authors of the study, the "prevalence of childhood asthma has increased approximately three-fold during the past several decades."
Anderson tells WebMD that her study shows diapers, perhaps in concert with other products used for infants, could contribute to the "mysterious" rise in asthma. But further population studies need to be done to discover if her findings are really a "big deal," she says.
Anderson Laboratories is a private, for-profit corporation.