Chemicals in our Baby Products

Tommy and LaDonna CecilUncategorized

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Baby products are marketed to make you think you need them, but the fact is they’re full of toxic ingredients that do more harm than good.

There is a multi-million dollar industry out there promising to keep your baby’s skin as perfect as it was when he or she was first born. The unsurprising irony is that none of that is necessary. Your baby’s skin is far better off with minimal intervention. The fewer soaps, shampoos, and lotions that you apply to your little one’s incredible new skin, the healthier and more perfect it will be.

The common nasty stuff to avoid in shampoos and body washes, and powders.

1. Talc

This powdered mineral is added to baby powder (and many other cosmetic powders). It’s used as a drying agent, but it’s a known lung irritant and may also be carcinogenic. As Gillian Deacon describes in her book There’s Lead In Your Lipstick:

“The mineral talc tends to occur in rock mass formations that are intermingle with other magnesium silicate minerals, including the highly dangerous asbestos. Since it is virtually impossible to extract the talc rock from the asbestos during the mining process, the carcinogenic contaminant is almost invariably going to be carried over into any consumer product containing talc.”

2. Fragrance

Fragrance is added to countless products, either to create a particular fragrance or to mask the odour of the nasty chemicals used in production. The problem with fragrance is that it’s a catch-all term for whatever secret ingredients companies wish to add (they are not obligated to reveal what’s contained within ‘fragrance’), and are generally made of coal- and petroleum-derived synthetic chemicals.

The effects of fragrance are long lasting, lingering on the skin for hours, and can cause respiratory, neurological, skin, and eye damage. There is evidence that exposure to fragrance as a child may lead to asthma.

Fragrance is added to disposable diapers (you know that strong baby powder-ish smell when you open a new package?), baby powder, baby wash and shampoo, lotions, and many other baby products. Check the labels carefully before you buy.

3. Proplyene glycol

This chemical is a penetration enhancer that is easily absorbed by the skin and may be carcinogenic. Its job is basically to open up all the pores and let the other chemicals in. Propylene glycol is used in wiper fluid and to de-ice airplanes, and yet it is often found in baby wipes, which is not safe. Look out for polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polypropylene glycol (PPG) on labels, too.

 

4. 1,4-dioxane and ethylated surfactants

The Environmental Working Group found that 57 percent of baby soaps are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. Although it’s never listed as an ingredient, 1,4-dioxane is often present in beauty products because it is a contaminant or by-product that occurs when “ethylene oxide, a known breast carcinogen is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh” (There’s Lead In Your Lipstick).

If you see any ingredients that contain the letters eth, then that is an indicator of the presence of 1,4-dioxane. Stay away from polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, sodium laureth sulfate, ceteareth, oleth, oxynol, -xynol, and PEG.

 

5. Mineral oil

Baby oil is essentially made of mineral oil mixed with fragrance, which is a nasty combination. Mineral oil is a cheap byproduct of petroleum processing and acts as a plastic wrap on the skin, inhibiting the skin’s ability to release toxins. Opt instead for natural and nourishing oils such as olive, coconut, or sweet almond to massage into your baby’s skin.

 

6. Parabens

Unfortunately parabens are everywhere. They can be found in all soaps, body washes, shampoos, and moisturizers, including those marketed toward babies. Parabens are neurotoxins and are linked to reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption, and skin irritation. Stay away from anything with ‘paraben’ in its name, as well as benzoic acid and propyl ester.

7. Triclosan

Anything that’s labeled as ‘antibacterial’ most likely contains triclosan, which is a carcinogenic endocrine disruptor that’s also harmful to the environment. Although it makes sense to want to keep your baby away from unnecessary bacteria, that’s the wrong approach to take. By raising our babies in sterile environments, we inhibit their ability to create natural resistance and immunity, increase the likelihood of allergies, and render antibacterial treatments less effective for when we truly need them to work. Stay away from antibacterial soaps and body washes that contain triclosan.

Many of us assume the companies are using the latest science as a guide to choose the safest ingredients, especially for products used on babies.

We should be able to expect that.

Unfortunately, nobody is watching the store. Companies in the U.S. are allowed to put ingredients into personal care products with no required safety testing, and without disclosing all the ingredients.

Bedding washed with conventional detergents, especially scented ones, and fabric softeners means a child is constantly breathing and touching additional harmful chemicals. The most common bedding are made of polyester/ cotton blends or all polyester. … Bedding of 100% cotton, hemp, linen or wool is least toxic.

When it comes to baby’s bath time, there are so many different products out there that it’s hard to keep track of them all.

Needless to say, you have to be very careful when it comes to picking out a shampoo or body wash for your little one.

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 Johnson & Johnson Is Just the Tip of the Toxic Iceberg

Many parents were shocked to learn that a Missouri jury recently ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million to the family of Jacqueline Fox, whose death by ovarian cancer was linked to her daily use of talcum-based Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. You know the product—that sweet baby scent, the soft puff of powder.

For decades, Fox used these talc powders on her most sensitive body parts. And for decades, according to the case, Johnson & Johnson knew about the cancer link but failed to warn consumers.

This might seem shocking. Millions of us have put these products on our bodies or our babies’ butts with no idea of the possible health risk.

But it’s actually not surprising. The fact is, many personal care products on store shelves—products we lather in our hair, rub on our skin, and put in our babies’ bathtubs—contain chemicals with known links to health problems, with no warnings at all to consumers.

Many of us assume the companies are using the latest science as a guide to choose the safest ingredients, especially for products used

on babies.

In Europe, you won’t find talc in many baby powders, the skin-lightening ingredient hydroquinone in skin creams, lead acetate in hair dye, or many other toxic substances because they are banned from personal care products. Here, you can find those substances in personal care products, with no health warnings.

In the U.S., the Cosmetics Ingredient Review Panel, a non-governmental body that shares offices with the cosmetics industry trade association, is in charge of determining whether ingredients are safe. Even if they do recommend against using one, companies are free to ignore their recommendations.

In the U.S., the Cosmetics Ingredient Review Panel, a non-governmental body that shares offices with the cosmetics industry trade association, is in charge of determining whether ingredients are safe. Even if they do recommend against using one, companies are free to ignore their recommendations.

So, how do we prevent our babies from being exposed to these chemicals ?

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