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Pressurized liquid extraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of fragrance allergens, musks, phthalates and preservatives in baby wipes.

  • Celeiro, Maria
  • Lamas, J Pablo
  • Garcia-Jares, Carmen
  • Llompart, Maria
Published Article
Journal of Chromatography A
Publication Date
Mar 06, 2015
DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2015.01.049
PMID: 25662066


Baby wipes and wet toilet paper are specific hygiene care daily products used on newborn and children skin. These products may contain complexes mixtures of harmful chemicals. A method based on pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) has been developed for the simultaneous determination of sixty-five chemical compounds (fragrance allergens, preservatives, musks, and phthalates) in wipes and wet toilet paper for children. These compounds are legislated in Europe according Regulation EC No 1223/2009, being twelve of them banned for their use in cosmetics, and one of them, 3-iodo-2-propynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC), is banned in products intended for children under 3 years. Also, propyl-, and butylparaben will be prohibited in leave-on cosmetic products designed for application on the nappy area of children under 3 years from April 2015. PLE is a fast, simple, easily automated technique, which permits to integrate a clean-up step during the extraction process reducing analysis time and stages. The proposed PLE-based procedure was optimized on real non-spiked baby wipe samples by means of experimental design to study the influence on extraction of parameters such as extraction solvent, temperature, extraction time, and sorbent type. Under the selected conditions, the method was validated showing satisfactory linearity, and intra-day, and inter-day precision. Recoveries were between 80-115% for most of the compounds with relative standard deviations (RSD) lower than 15%. Finally, twenty real samples were analyzed. Thirty-six of the target analytes were detected, highlighting the presence of phenoxyethanol in all analyzed samples at high concentration levels (up to 0.8%, 800μgg(-1)). Methyl paraben (MeP), and ethyl paraben (EtP) were found in 40-50% of the samples, and the recently banned isobutyl paraben (iBuP) and isopropyl paraben (iPrP), were detected in one and seven samples, respectively, at concentrations between 0.093 and 247μgg(-1). In the case of phthalates, the forbidden phthalates dibutyl phtalate (DBP) and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) were also found in thirteen samples at low levels. All the samples contained fragrance allergens in many cases at high levels (up to 2400μgg(-1)) and three musks were detected in the samples. Excluding the banned compounds, all samples complied with the concentration limits established by the European Regulation although 25% of them did not fulfill the labeling requirements for fragrance allergens.

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