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Smelly gauze removed from 2019 maternity kits

No harmful chemicals were found in the textiles, but pensions agency Kela fired the supplier of the malodorous product.

vauva peiton päällä
Image: Veikko Somerpuro / Kela

Finland's official maternity packages for the rest of 2019 will not include a roll of gauze textile due to the latest batch having an unpleasant odour, social insurance institution Kela reported on Wednesday.

The company that packs the baby boxes, Logistikas Hankinta were the ones to detect the odd whiff.

While the smell was described by Kela legal benefits chief Johanna Aholainen as "musty and foul", she said no mothers have received defective gauze.

The rolls of gauze are delivered to Kela by a company called Imlitex Textile. Kela immediately terminated its contract with the provider.

"The products come all the way from Pakistan, so it's hard to say where the smell came from," Aholainen said.

Kela said that no harmful chemicals were found in the gauze when scrutinised in a laboratory. Aholainen said that the lab analysis was not enough, however, as all products in the maternity package must be odourless.

No replacement could be found for the gauze in time for the rest of the year's kit deliveries.

All families in Finland with newborns receive a maternity kit or a one-time cash benefit as part of Kela's maternity grant.

More than ten products reviewed in Finland's world-renowned baby box from 2018 were made in circumstances that involve serious labour rights shortcomings, according to the corporate responsibility watchdog Finnwatch.

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