Are Your Baby Care Products Safe?
Posted on August 19 2017
Bath time for Baby should be fun, relaxing—and most of all—SAFE. But news reports about toxic chemicals found in popular children's bath care products have put many parents on edge.
Many baby care and child care products like wipes, bubble bath, cream, lotions, toothpastes, soaps and shampoos are being labelled as “organic” or “natural.” As a discerning parent, it’s important to know that these labels don’t always reflect the product’s safety or organic nature.
Even a product that is labelled as gentle or non-irritating can in fact contain irritating and harmful ingredients.
Should you be concerned? Here's what every parent needs to know.
The first step in ensuring the products you are buying are safe for your kids is to read the label. If you find products such as sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), fragrance (parfum), BHA, or phthalates, as well as about 20 chemicals on the health risk “watch” list available on many cosmetics-awareness databases, these products may cause a variety of serious, short and long term health effects for your child. These include anything from mouth ulcers, skin rashes, to auto-immune disorders and cancer. Plus, ingredients such as parfum are largely manufactured from petroleum products, which themselves have harmful effects on the environment through production and manufacturing processes.
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Come Clean about Dirty Ingredients
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics detected toxic chemicals in bath products marked "all natural," the Campaign decided to round up a sampling of mainstream children's bath products. From baby shampoo to bubble bath, lotion to body wash, 48 well-known products were independently tested for 1,4-dioxane; 28 were also checked for traces of formaldehyde.
Lab result highlights?
- Of the products tested, 61 percent (17 out of 28) contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. These included some big names:
- Johnson's Baby Shampoo
- Sesame Street Bubble Bath
- Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wash
- Eighty-two percent of products (23 out of 28) contained formaldehyde at levels ranging from 79 parts per million (ppm) to 610 ppm. Exposure to formaldehyde concentrations as low as 250 ppm may cause skin rash in children with chemical sensitivities; the product with the highest level of formaldehyde—Baby Magic Baby Lotion—would require a warning label if sold in Europe (where the formaldehyde cutoff is 500 ppm).
- Sixty-seven percent of products (32 out of 48) contained 1,4-dioxane at levels ranging from 0.27 ppm to 35 ppm. American Girl shower products from Bath & Body Works contained the highest levels of 1,4-dioxane. The United States classifies the toxin as a "probable human carcinogen," but has not set cutoff levels for its use. In contrast, Canada and Europe completely ban products containing any amount of 1,4-dioxane.