WASHINGTON — Government safety officials are looking into a handful of reports of severe rashes caused by new types of Pampers diapers.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission started an investigation this week following complaints of babies and toddlers suffering severe and persistent diaper rashes and blisters that resemble chemical burns.
In March, Procter & Gamble launched new versions of its Swaddlers and Cruisers diapers in the U.S. The thinner diapers use the company's Dry Max technology to replace the paper pulp previously used. Parents' groups blame the change for skin problems.
The company responded in a statement that these claims are "completely false," and that it has received less than two complaints about diaper rash for every 1 million Pampers diapers sold.
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"There is no evidence from the people that have called us — or from the research that we have done — that a single baby has experienced a skin safety issue as a result of our Pampers with Dry Max," the Cincinnati-based company said.
A Facebook page asking the company to bring back the older versions of its diapers has more than 4,000 members. Discussions on the site include parents seeking advice on soothing skin irritations, talking about possible boycotts of other Pampers products, and promoting alternative brands and options.
"These rumors are being perpetuated by a small number of parents, some of whom are unhappy that we replaced our older Cruisers and Swaddlers products while others support competitive products and the use of cloth diapers," Jodi Allen, vice president for Pampers, said in a statement.
CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson encouraged parents to report any problems to the agency, which he said has received only a handful of reports so far. Wolfson said the investigation is in its early stages and the agency is seeking as much information as possible.
Procter & Gamble has shared all of its existing safety data with CPSC, said company spokesman Bryan McCleary.