Published September 28th, 2012
A common ingredient is found in most eco-friendly and/or natural baby wipes, Benzoic Acid is derived from the chemical benzene and contains carboxylic acid. It is used in a wide variety of goods including coffee extract, sauces and tomato paste, cosmetics, dyes, plastics, perfumes, insect repellents, and more. Its most common uses are in food preservation and the treatment of bacterial infections. Benzoic acid preserves food by killing bacteria. It also has inhibitory effects on the growth of yeast which is a major cause of food spoilage.
The amount of benzoates that can be added to foods is carefully controlled because it can be toxic in large doses. The maximum percentage allowed in the United States is 0.1 by volume. The highest percentage of benzoic acid can be found in juices, soda, pickles, and salad dressing.
You may want to rethink using baby wipes that have this chemical in them. Benzoic acid comes with a few warnings. It may also cause skin irritation, redness, burning or itching if contact is prolonged. If large doses of benzoic acid are ingested, sore throat, nausea, and vomiting can occur.
There is also a warning against pregnant or nursing women from using products that contain benzoic acid.