Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Word on Wet Wipes

While taking the time to ponder the absurdity of my official United States Census 2010 "It's in OUR HANDS, BE COUNTED!" Antibacterial Wet wipe.... I flipped it over to discover the following printed on the label.

  • The dimensions of said wet wipe 5" in. X 8" in. or for those who use the metric system (12.7 cm X 20cm)
  • The location of origin for the product, in this case Waconia, MN 55387 followed by an American Flag and the statement "Proudly made in the U.S.A.
  • And... The DRUG Facts (which is like the label you will find on a medicine bottle)
If you are like me and you think a lot about the FDA you might have said to yourself... Wet Wipes are considered Drugs? You Bethcha. This is because Antibacterial Wet Wipes make a claim about treating or preventing a disease, which by the standards of the *government make something a drug... in this case the claim states:

"Helps reduce bacteria on the skin that could cause disease. Recommended for repeated use as needed."


This Drug Label includes Warnings and Directions for use. The Warning for this Wet Wipe is a paragraph long...

Flammable. Keep away from heat and open flame. For external use only. In case of accidental ingestion seek medical assistance or contact a Poison Control Center immediately. Avoid contact with eyes. If eye contact occurs, flush thoroughly with water. Avoid contact with broken skin. Discontinue use and contact a doctor if skin irritation develops and continues for more than 72 hours. Keep out of reach of children.

When in your life have you ever needed to know the dimensions of a wet wipe? And who uses them as a way to fight off disease? And how many times have you "Accidentally ingested one? And WHO reads the directions before cracking open the package? If you need to consult Wet Wipe directions you really don't get out enough.

We are talking about a piece of cloth with water, rubbing alcohol, vitamin E and Aloe Vera on it.
They make it sound like a dirty gasoline soaked rag.

Personally if I am using a wet wipe it is because I have just spilled something on my hands, or used a port-a-potty. Perhaps I am biased because I don't subscribe to the idea of "Antibacterial" as they remove the good bacteria from your skin as well as the bad... causing bacteria strains to mutate becoming resistant to such products (oh man I am a huge nerd).

I guess I find this extra ridiculous because to be considered a "Drug" in the United States a product has to undergo rigorous testing to give scientific evidence to whatever claim it is making. I would be curious to know the time, money and man power it took to conduct the Wet Wipe testing.

Which begs me to question how else the $873 million dollar budget alloted to the FDA specifically for Drug evaluation and research is spent.

Also, while I am on this topic, this is the reason that Cheerios got in trouble last year for their campaign that Cheerios could lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. The FDA was in a huff about it because they felt that Cheerios were making claims to treat and prevent a disease and would therefore have to be considered a Drug to make such a statement.

Oddly enough the FDA does not regulate any weight loss products or medications as obesity is not considered a disease. That is why products like Fen-Phen which is potentiality fatal can hit the market and cause a lot of damage before it is pulled from the shelves.

And now I am just rambling.

*Definition of a Drug by the government: "articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or other animals" and "articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals."

1 comment:

The Atomic Mom said...

And now we know why the Census cost $15Billion this year. If they are printing out wet wipes...sheesh! What a waste!