Monday, May 4, 2009

Chemical bath -- toxic chemicals in our products?

My last few posts have been about pregnancy and children...probably because I have a young niece in the family and another niece/nephew on the way. Babies on the brain! Regardless, there are a lot of moms out there who have been hearing information regarding possible carcinogens in their baby bath products. After a little bit of searching, sure enough I found a few articles and a nonprofit organization doing some real environmental research on cosmetics and bath products.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics did some laboratory testing on 48 baby bath products and found:

17 out of 28 products tested – 61 percent – contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.
23 out of 28 products – 82 percent – contained formaldehyde at levels ranging from 54 to 610 parts per million (ppm).
32 out of 48 products – 67 percent – contained 1,4-dioxane at levels ranging from 0.27 to 35 ppm.

According to the site, 1,4-dioxane is a contaminant produced during manufacturing, the FDA does not require 1,4-dioxane to be listed as an ingredient on product labels. Without labeling, there is no way to know for certain how many products contain 1,4-dioxane—and no guaranteed way for consumers to avoid it. Most commonly, 1,4-dioxane is found in products that create suds, like shampoo, liquid soap and bubble bath.

For more information, visit their site.

In an effort for fair reporting and allowing the reader to hear both sides of the story, read about an article completely debunking the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Report here:

I think it's important to have consumers and readers make their own decisions regarding their health. What is evident in both reports is that we are exposed to numerous chemicals in our bath and beauty products that we use every day. The chemicals may have health effects that are still currently unknown and it is up to epidemiologists and public health scientists to take into account all factors when making any conclusions. Whether the bath products of today will result in the cancer of tomorrow is yet to be determined. Overall, our environment has numerous possible carcinogens and we must attempt to limit our exposure to as many known carcinogens as possible. The epidemiology on this issue is still to be determined...

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