Babies across the Western world are sitting in bubbles tainted with cancer-causing chemicals and other toxins linked to serious health effects. Many of the contaminated products are advertised as “gentle,” “pure” or “naturally refreshing.” What’s going on?
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics hired an independent lab to test bubble bath, baby lotion and other products intended for babies and children including Johnsons Baby Shampoo, Huggies Baby Wipes, Pampers Kandoo foaming soap and L’Oreal Kids – for 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde. Both chemicals are contaminants that do not appear on product labels, and both are carcinogenic; formaldehyde can also trigger rashes in those with sensitive skin.
The lab tested 48 kids’ products for 1,4-dioxane and found it in 67 percent of the products. Of the 28 products tested for formaldehyde, 82 percent were positive. Seventeen products were contaminated with both 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde. You can read the list of products tested in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report, “No More Toxic Tub.”
We know that cosmetics can be made without hazardous ingredients and contaminants. So what’s going on? How is it legal for companies to sell baby and kids’ skincare products that contain toxic chemicals used in embalming fluid, fumigants and automotive coolant? Worse yet, these chemicals aren’t even on the label, so even the most ingredient-conscious parents wouldn’t know whether the product is safe.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, several factors contribute to children’s special vulnerability to the harmful effects of chemicals:
• A child’s chemical exposures are greater pound-for-pound than those of an adult.
• Children are less able than adults to detoxify and excrete chemicals.
• Children’s developing organ systems are more vulnerable to damage from chemical exposures.
• Children have more years of future life in which to develop disease triggered by early exposure.
This report comes as no surprise to many ‘eco-conscious’ parents who already read product ingredient labels with horror, and who already adopt the use of organic baby products, organic wipes and even washable wipes which contain none of these harmful chemicals. Hopefully this report will bring these issues to a wider audience and parents will stop using these harmful products on their delicate infants.
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