Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Study Finds Your Baby's Bath Products Could Be Toxic

A recent study conducted by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in March 2009 found 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde, two known carcinogens, in dozens of bath products for babies and kids. It just amazes me that in the United States of America we do so little to protect our children.
In Sweden and Japan formaldehyde is banned in cosmetics and toiletries. The European Union and Canada have placed limits on formaldehyde concentrations. According to the study, two samples of Baby Magic "Soft Baby Scent" lotion had high enough concentrations of formaldehyde that they would require a warning label in Europe. Unfortunately, in the U.S. there are no restrictions on the levels of formaldehyde allowed in any body care products.
In the European Union and in Canada, 1,4-dioxane is banned in cosmetics. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has stated that even in trace amounts, 1,4-dioxane is a cause for concern. The EPA has classifed 1,4 dioxane as a "probable human carcinogen". However, the FDA has not set a safe level for 1,4 dioxane in cosmetics. In the study conducted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, 67% of the products tested contained 1-4 dioxane. When various chemicals are processed with ethylene oxide to make them more soluble or gentler, 1,4-dioxane can occur as a byproduct. It is relatively easy to remove through a process called vacuum stripping. However, based on the results of the study, it does not appear that manufacturers are doing this.
It is time that we wake up in this country and demand better labeling and removal of harmful chemicals from the products that we use on our bodies. Trying to decipher the ingredient label on a product is not easy and very time consuming. Most parents assume that someone else is looking out for their safety. I see it all the time when I speak to a customer about healthier options. Other than lead and BPA, most people do not realize that there are chemicals in products that could harm them or their children. Did you know that more than 80% of chemicals in cosmetics have never been assessed for safety by the FDA? This study is a wake up call to parents. The list of well-known products tested that contain one or both of these harmful chemicals will be shocking to many. As parents we need to take a stand for our children. To find out more read the complete study.

Need help choosing products for your baby? Check out the Environmental Working Group's Parents Buying Guide.

Source: No More Toxic Tub: Getting Contaminants Out Of Children's Bath and Personal Care Products by The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics.

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