Pampers Dry Max Not Linked to Diaper Rash Cases: CPSC Report

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By: Staff Writers | Published: September 7th, 2010

Federal investigators in both the U.S. and Canada say that they have been unable to verify thousands of parents’ claims of diaper rash from Pampers Dry Max diapers

In a joint statement released last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada said their investigations have not turned up any specific links between the new diaper design and what some parents have described as severe rashes that appear to be chemical burns. A number of complaints involving problems with Pampers Dry Max diapers led the agencies to launch an investigation earlier this year.

In March, Proctor & Gamble released new Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers diapers using “Dry Max” technology. The diapers are thinner than previous Pampers. To date, the CPSC has received nearly 4,700 reports of Pampers Dry Max diaper rashes, with the vast majority of the reports filed in May, when concern about the diapers reached its peak on the internet.

Parents on social media sites and news websites (including this one) flooded comment sections with reports of children developing rashes described as painful, often puss-filled burns or blisters which they say occurred soon after switching to the new Dry Max diapers. However, Proctor & Gamble has maintained that the diaper rash outbreak was fabricated by a group of mothers using social media who preferred either the old style of Pampers or who were proponents of the use of cloth diapers.

On May 11, a Pampers diaper class action lawsuit was filed against P&G in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The claim seeks to force the company to reimburse parents who bought the diapers, pay for the treatment of skin ailments allegedly caused by the Pampers diapers and regularly test their products to ensure that they are not causing skin rashes or chemical burns.

According to the CPSC and Health Canada reports, investigators looked at clinical and toxicology data in peer-reviewed medical literature and performed technical evaluations on the characteristics, materials, and construction of the diapers as well as heat and moisture retention issues. They also looked at data submitted by P&G, including a human cumulative irritation patch study performed by the company.

“While the investigation thus far does not find a link between the diapers and the health complaints received, CPSC recognizes the serious concerns expressed by parents,” the agency’s press release states. “CPSC staff cannot rule out that there may exist a health concern for some babies, especially those babies that may be sensitive and develop rashes or other skin problems as a result of contact with the materials in this or other products.”

The CPSC recommended that parents who believe that their child’s diaper rash is related to a particular brand of diaper should stop using that diaper and see their pediatrician. The CPSC says it is still interested in parents’ reports of problems with Pampers Dry Max diapers or any other product and encouraged them to keep providing the agency with more data.

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There Are 5 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. I’ve used pampers dry max swaddlers for my newborn who is now 4 months. I haven’t had any issues with rash at all. I am actually surprised because I did have rash issues with my other kids but used a different brand, generic brand. At the same time parents shouldn’t leave a child to sit in a urine or feces filled diaper anyway. Urine and feces are irritants alone and depending on baby skin sensitivity, one may need changing right away. I did try one other popular brand in the past four months but noticed my babies skin was very damp so I switched back. Overall no problems so far.

  2. I recently received a box of pampers cruisers with dry max size 4 as a gift and decided I would use them since they were given to me. I am very adamant about changing my son frequently and over the last couple weeks he has had various stages of diaper rash. Up until last week when he woke only a few hours after I put him to bed in a clean diaper and he had no rash. He woke two hours later screaming in pain and I changed his diaper only to discover he was covered in a rash so bad he was almost bleeding. This rash would not clear up even with proper treatment for over a week so I finally switched diapers. Sure enough he cleared right up. Now tell me it’s not the diapers when my son is 14 months old and never had a rash last more than 24 hours in his life.

  3. I used Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers for my son for years without a single problem (this was 3-5 years ago). I actually LOVED those diapers – they never leaked and worked very well for him. When my daughter was born, I decided to use Pampers for her as well. About 4 months after her birth, the company launched their “Dry Max Technology”. I continued using them and noticed she would get more red frequently but didn’t pay much attention to it. When she was about 6-8 months old, she had a severe case of the runs. She sat in it for literally less then 5 mins. before I realized she needed to be changed. When I changed her she was so red she was almost purple and she was bleeding in spots and had blisters ALL over! I could NOT believe it! I then read up online about Pampers and saw others were having the same problem. I immediately switched to another brand and haven’t had a single problem since. You can’t tell me it’s NOT the diapers!!!! I will NEVER buy Pampers again!!!!

  4. I am working very hard to contain my anger but I am about to explode. I agree that there is no evidence of diaper rash from these diapers from hell (literally) because IT IS NOT A RASH!!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS A BURN!!!!!!! I bought Pampers size 5 with dry max on Saturday 11/6/2010. By Wednesday, 11/10/10 my 18month daughter had a burn the size of a quarter in her diaper area. There was no evidence of any rash or bumps. Her bottom and other areas was as smooth as a baby’s bottom is suppose to be. I am hotter than the burn my daughter experienced from the diaper and I not only will take legal action but I am boycotting every product made by this evil corporation (I know it is a lot of products) but they will never get another penny of my money ever). Hit them where it hurts. They can’t hurt my child and turn a profit from me. These people are counting on us to be passive. But if we don’t fight and protect are children from these corporate monsters who know the products they are turning out our defective and hurting our children in the most vulnerable places, who will? What galls me the most is the denial and blame on the parents. WE are not stupid. We know are children and we know a defective and dangerous product. Join me and boycott anything and everything from proctor and gamble. Think about the pain they caused your child and it will be more than easy to do.

  5. The key ingredient of Proctor and Gamble’s diapers is a sodium based acrylic acid polymer. Fully polymerized, this product is inert and harmless. However, the polymer has an acceptable level of unpolymerized acrylic acid monomer (a very caustic and skin damaging acid). I worked for a company that produced this polymer for proctor and gamble and deliberately altered the written and approved P&G test methods. I have substtntial evidence to prove this.
    When pressured, the manufacturer I worked for repeatedly made claims that P&G knew of the alterations in the test methods, but never provided proof. (This is in direct violation of Proctor and Gamble’s own approved supplier guidelines.) It is my expert opinion that many of these altered tests resulted in diapers that performed very poorly, did not absorb adequately, prevented absorption to the inner polymer layer and caused baby’s to have a layer of urine against their skin (a layer that contained acrylic acid monomer in solution) and it was diapers made from this material that may have caused the severe diaper rash in pampers diapers of all types. The CPSC might not detect this problem because it would be random (probably in less than 3 percent of the material sold) and because the data they looked at from P&G contained data provided by the manufacturer’s testing and not Proctor and Gamble’s. Proctor and Gamble relied on the manufacturer’s data provided in the manufacturer’s certificate’s of analysis.
    Commentors should exercise extreme caution when blaming parents.

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