Pampers Dry Max, the newest version of the popular diaper line that was blamed by thousands of parents for causing rashes and burns on infants and toddlers, survived an initial federal investigation and is not being recalled. However, the case has not been closed.
"We encourage parents to talk with their pediatricians if they are concerned about any rash that their child has," CPSC spokeswoman Stacey Palosky told Consumer Ally. "We want them to continue to send us reports related to any Dry Max issues that they feel are happening."
Scientists at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and its sister safety agency Health Canada investigated the allegations that began to crop up earlier this year after the new line was introduced. Social networking brought together parents who came to the same conclusions about the diapers -- a Facebook fan page dedicated to trying to bring back the old version has more than 11,000 members -- and led Procter & Gamble to take the offensive against them.
The CPSC, which has been looking into some 4,700 complaints about diaper rashes lodged with the agency between April and August, didn't rule out the possibility the diapers were the problem, but said: "To date, the review has not identified any specific cause linking Dry Max diapers to diaper rash."
The CPSC said that 85 percent of the complaints it received were in May, the height of publicity over the conflict over the diapers.
Both safety agencies inspected the diapers by analyzing the materials, construction and and how heat and moisture are retained, the CPSC said.
"Our scientists did an exhaustive analysis of the diaper components," Palosky said.
That included a review of data from P&G as well as toxicological and chemical information on the diaper's components.
"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 said in a statement. "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 said if a diaper is believed to be the cause of a baby's rashes, parents should call their pediatrician and stop using that diaper.
P&G, which has argued that there is nothing different in the Dry Max diapers than the previous version -- they're just redesigned -- was pleased with the results of the review.
"We are thankful that the U.S. CPSC and Health Canada conducted their thorough reviews and have not identified any cause for concern with Pampers with Dry Max," Pampers Vice President Jodi Allen said in a statement sent to Consumer Ally. "Our heartfelt mission is always to care for and protect babies, and as such safety is, and will always be, our number one priority. We hope that today's announcement will reassure the millions of moms and dads and child caregivers who place their trust in Pampers and Dry Max every day. We thank our customers for their continued support and greatly value and appreciate the trust they place in us."
For those who want to file complaints over issues involving the diapers, online complaints can be filed with either the CPSC or Health Canada.
Why do investors make the decisions that they do?View Course »