Lead in Diaper Bags

Problem: Vinyl diaper bags and/or vinyl changing pads sold with diaper bags may contain high levels of lead, which can wipe off onto children and their parents’ hands. Parents handle diaper bags throughout the day, often using them for changing several times during the day, so lead in diaper bags is a real health concern. Other vinyl baby care products, including teethers and breast milk coolers, can also contain high levels of lead.

CEH Action: In 2008, CEH purchased many diaper bags from major retailers and tested them for lead, finding several with high lead levels. A changing pad in one diaper bag contained nearly 130 times the lead limit recommended for children’s products by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In February and March 2008, CEH initiated legal action against the diaper bag and other companies, in order to eliminate the lead threat to infants and children.

See the March 2008 CEH Report, Touching Babies Every Day: Lead in Diaper Bags.

Solution: CEH reached legal agreements with major diaper bag suppliers requiring strict limits on lead in these products.

What You Can Do: Avoid vinyl diaper bags and changing pads; look for cloth or other safer materials.


Environmental Group Says Diaper Bags Tainted with Lead, KPBS Radio (NPR San Diego), March 18, 2008.

High Lead Levels Are Found in Vinyl Plastic Baby Products, New York Times, February 11, 2008.