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Cancer-Causing Chemicals Now Found in Baby Shampoo … April 7, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in children, health, medicine, news.

This latest study from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that 32 out of 48 baby bath products they tested — including some from brand names like Johnson & Johnson — contained formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane, both of which are probable carcinogens.

And 17 of the baby bath products contained BOTH of the chemicals — including the top-selling Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Sesame Street Bubble Bath.

You wouldn’t be able to tell there were cancer-causing chemicals in your baby’s shampoo or lotion just from reading the label, though, as these chemicals are not listed. Rather, they are created during the manufacturing process and shrugged off as being in too minute of quantities to be concerned with.

But other countries do not agree.

Japan and Sweden have banned formaldehyde from personal care products, and the European Union has banned 1,4-dioxane. They’ve even recalled products that were found to contain it. In the United States, meanwhile, there are no regulatory standards limiting formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane or, for that matter, virtually any other toxic chemical in personal care products — not even those for your children.

Just How Many Chemicals Are Children Exposed To?

In an average day, children are exposed to 61 chemicals in personal care products, 27 of which have not been found safe for kids, according to a national survey by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). In fact, EWG points out that 77 percent of the ingredients in 1,700 children’s products have never been assessed for safety.

This means that the simple acts of shampooing your baby’s hair, giving him a bath and putting on some lotion, several times a week or more, is exposing him to chemicals that could very well harm his health. Even though they are likely small exposures at each bath time, over time these exposures add up and may contribute to disease.

EWG’s study highlights just what types of toxic ingredients you may be slathering on your child. They report:

• In an average week, three-quarters of all children are exposed to allergens, neurotoxins, and hormone-disrupting chemicals in their body care products, in addition to the dozens of chemicals not assessed for safety at all.

• Many children’s products contain harsh, industrial chemicals at odds with marketing claims on product labels. Products marked as gentle, mild, natural, or unscented routinely contain fragrance, synthetic and hazardous ingredients, and chemicals that can cause allergic reactions or irritate your child’s eyes and skin.

Who is Responsible for the Safety of Your Baby’s Bath Products?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would be responsible for the safety of personal care products in the United States, if any safety regulations existed. As it stands, the FDA does not have the authority to require safety tests for personal care products.

Instead, a panel called the Cosmetic Ingredient Review goes over the safety of cosmetic ingredients. Not only is this panel funded by the cosmetic industry, but it has yet to review a major portion of cosmetic ingredients that are already on the market.

So there is absolutely NO government agency looking out for the safety of personal care products for infants and adults. It is actually perfectly legal and very common for companies to use ingredients that are known or suspected to be carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxins.

Which Ingredients Should You Watch Out For?

If you want to avoid the formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane that were detected in many baby products, you need to know what to look for since they’re not listed on the label, at least not in those words.

Common ingredients likely to contaminate products with formaldehyde include:

• Quaternium-15
• DMDM hydantoin
• Imidazolidinyl urea
• Diazolidinyl urea

To avoid 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct that could easily be removed if manufacturers chose to do so, watch out for these ingredients:

• PEG-100 stearate
• Sodium laureth sulfate
• Polyethylene
• Ceteareth-20

Of course, this is only a short list of the potentially dangerous chemicals out there. To be truly safe when it comes to personal care products, you need to seek out personal care products that are so pure you could actually eat them. Coconut oil is a great example here, as it makes a great moisturizer that you can also eat. Olive oil is another one that you can use to deep condition your hair.

By Dr. Mercola

For more information, visit the website Dr. Mercola.com



1. Is it possible to make your own dog training spray? | Dog Care Tips - April 8, 2009

[…] Cancer-Causing Chemicals Now Found in Baby Shampoo … « The State … […]

2. Lidia - April 13, 2009

It is so scary about baby shampoo, I love the skin deep datatbase I found the best and safest baby skin care products for my baby. Natures Paradise Organics they have a huge selection and all of thier products are certified organic and 100% chemical free. I love the smell of their coconut baby line mmmm. Its like being in the tropics.

3. Taylor - July 23, 2009

I really enjoyed this article posted regarding harmful ingredients in personal care products. It was very informative, and I believe you are absolutely correct about the negative impact that these chemicals can have on our bodies. I have discovered several amazing reports to validate your position, and I believe you would find the information fascinating. I would love to discuss this further with you. Please email me at your earliest convenience at tdeann24@gmail.com. One report in particular is very serious in nature and was documented on CNN. I’ll send you a link.

4. Liana Alirez - September 19, 2013

This is disturbing news. I can’t believe companies would put something like this in baby shampoo! How do they sleep at night? Thanks for sharing…

5. Beula B - September 24, 2013

Don’t these companies have any shame? What the heck man??

6. Kerry T - September 24, 2013

I suppose it’s all about the money here. money before people. How many times to we have to see this type of stuff to realize this is precisely the problem. These greedy corporations should be ashamed and their families as well (going to church won’t help you here).

7. Millard B - September 24, 2013

You’ve got be KIDDING ME? What has the world come to…

8. Aron Lobaton - September 28, 2013

I used to use this brand but not anymore since I found Hairy Kids shampoo and conditioner, I even use it myself!. If you can find the natural ones why use chemicals? It is a matter of choices.

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