ISSN 2415-3060 (print), ISSN 2522-4972 (online)
  • 30 of 60
УЖМБС 2019, 4(6): 211–216
Clinical Medicine

The Effect of Household Chemicals Containing Surfactants on Children's Health

Frolova T., Myasoedov V., Atamanova O., Siniaieva I., Stenkova N.

Household chemicals are the indisputable achievement of modern civilization. However, the harm that these chemical compounds can cause to human body, especially in childhood, is significantly underestimated. The main components of household chemicals of foreign and domestic production are: phosphates, phosphonates, surfactants, triclosans, chlorine, petroleum distillates, phenols, formaldehyde, etc. Information on their toxicity is limited and mainly focuses on irritant and allergic effects that are easy to diagnose visually. It is known that young children have the lowest barrier function of the epidermis, so soaps and detergents that act as surfactants can cause skin damage, causing dryness, erythema and edema. Despite the fact that in practice, the pediatricians / family physicians are often faced with manifestations of contact dermatitis in children, especially at an early age, in the scientific literature there are only a few works dealing with this important pressing issue of today. In our opinion, this is due to some difficulties in determining the trigger factors during the diagnosis of this condition. The purpose of the work was to study the effect of household chemicals containing surfactants on children's health. Material and methods. Using specially designed questionnaires, the use of household chemicals containing surfactants was monitored in 196 parents of healthy children from 1 month of age up to 6 years. Results and discussion. The analysis of the survey results showed that when caring for a child, 158 parents (80.6 %) used conventional household chemicals, 12 (6.1 %) used natural organic products, and 26 (13.3 %) used alternative means (laundry soap, soda and / or mustard). However, the results of the survey indicated that every fifth child had allergic reactions after using the so-called "children's products" when caring for the child. Thus, it was proved that most parents used special “children's” detergents when caring for young children, focusing on the manufacturer whose advertising was most often found in the media. When choosing a child care product, parents do not pay attention to the composition of the product, the availability of a quality certificate and expiration date. More often, allergic reactions to the skin and/or mucous membranes of the eyes and nose occurred when using conventional household chemicals. Conclusion. Thus, when caring for a young child, it is recommended to use products that incorporate amphoteric surfactants with less aggressive properties. Marking “baby” on the care product does not guarantee the absence of side effects when using it, including allergy. The results showed an urgent need for further research to differentiate the effects of different types of surfactants on the child's organism and to develop preventive measures to avoid their harmful effects, taking into account current modern experimental studies.

Keywords: children, health condition, household cleaning products, surfactants

Full text: PDF (Ukr) 246K

  1. Yalovenko OI, Golichenkov OM, Rayetska OV. Toksykologichni vlastyvosti suchasnykh poverkhnevo-aktyvnykh rechovyn - skladovykh kosmetychnykh ochyshchuyuchykh zasobiv. Gigiyena naselenykh mists. 2014; 63: 123-32. [Ukrainian]
  2. Yin S. Chemical and Common Burns in Children. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2017, May; 56(5 suppl): 8S-12S.
  3. Tekhnichnyy reglament myynykh zasobiv, zatverdzhenyy postanovoyu Kabinetu Ministriv Ukrainy vid 20.08.2008 № 717. Ofitsiynyy veb-portal Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrainy. Available from: laws/show/717-2008-%D0%BF [Ukrainian]
  4. Reglament (YeS) № 648/2004 Yevropeyskogo Parlamentu ta Rady «Pro myyuchi zasoby» vid 31. 03. 2004. Ofitsiynyy veb-portal Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrainy. Available from: laws/show/994_961 [Ukrainian]
  5. Grabovska OS, Grabovskyy SS, Kaplinskyy VV. Vplyv poverkhnevo aktyvnykh rechovyn na zhyvyy organizm. Lvivska politekhnika.2011; 5: 43-52. [Ukrainian]
  6. Yuan CL, Xu ZZ, Fan MX, Liu HY, Xie YH. Study on characteristics and harm of surfactants. J of Chem and Pharm Research. 2014; 6(7): 2233-37.
  7. Corazza M, Laurla MM, Zappaterra M. Lauriola M. Bianchi A, Virgili A. Surfactants, skin cleansing. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venerol. 2010; 24(1): 1-6.
  8. Kryzhanovskyy YeM, Gurko OV, Zhak AV. Doslidzhennya tendentsiy vykorystannya fosfatnykh myyuchykh zasobiv. Materialy III-go Vseukr z’yizdu ekologiv z mizhnarodnoyu uchastyu. Vinnytsya. 2011; 1: 216–19. [Ukrainian]
  9. Sodium hypochlorite. Toxicological overview. 2014 Available from:
  10. Cork МJ, Danby SG, Vasilopoulos Y, Hadgraft J, Lane ME, Moustafa M, et al. Epidermal barrier dysfunction in atopic dermatitis. J of Invest Dermatol. 2009; 129(8): 1892–908.
  11. Tsuruta D, Green KJ, Getsios S, Jones JC. The barrier function of skin: how to keep a tight lid on water loss. Trends in Cell Biology. 2002; 12(8): 355–57.
  12. Kim BE, Leung DYM. Significance of Skin Barrier Dysfunction in Atopic Dermatitis. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2018 May; 10(3): 207–15.
  13. Deguchi H, Aoyama R, Takahashi H, Isobe Y, Yutaka T. Harmful Effects of Synthetic Surface-Active Detergents against Atopic Dermatitis. Dermatological Medicine. 2015; 2015: Article ID 898262.
  14. Chang M, Nakrani R. Six children with allergic contact dermatitis to methylisothiazolinone in wet wipes (baby wipes). Pediatrics. 2014; 133(2): e434-38.
  15. Marrero-Alemán G, Saavedra Santana P, Liuti F, Hernández N, López-Jiménez E, Borrego L. The Role of Cleaning Products in Epidemic Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Methylchloroisothiazolinone. Dermatitis. 2018 Mar/Apr; 29(2): 77-80.