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FTC puts flushability burden on wipes-maker

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While one would think its officials have more important messes to clean up, the Federal Trade Commission has come down on a company for advertising that its moist tissue and cloth products are flushable.

In a statement issued Monday, the FTC said it has approved a final consent order with Orangeburg, New York-based Nice-Pak Products Inc. requiring it to stop advertising that its products are flushable or safe for sewer or septic systems unless it can substantiate those claims.

According to an FTC blog, which has the headline, “Back up your claims, not buyers’ pipes,” the wipes are sold by national retailers, under a variety of private label names.

The blog states the wipes were made of material, including some plastic-based components, that did not break down as quickly as toilet paper.

“We’ll spare you the details,” says the blog, “but once those squares disappeared down the drain, the going wasn’t always easy,” and could clog home plumbing and septic systems, public sewer systems and sewage treatment plant systems.

The FTC decision and order in the case says the company cannot claim its products are flushable without objective tests, professionally conducted, that “substantially replicate the physical conditions of the environment” in which the product is disposed of.

Who ever said lab work wasn’t glamorous?