Harmful Chemicals & Ingredients to Avoid in Baby Bath Productsby Tamara Laschinsky
consumers are unaware of the ingredients in their babies’ bath products
and the possible health risks involved. Sixty-one percent of bath
products, tested by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), were positive
for both 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde: carcinogenic byproducts. Other
harmful ingredients found in baby bath products are fragrances, peg’s
How Do 1,4 Dioxane and Formaldehyde Get Into Baby Bath Products
manufacturing process of bath products often yields byproducts. Two of
these byproducts are 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde. The Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) says 1,4 dioxane is a probable carcinogen and
the same is said for formaldehyde.
Labeling regulations do not
require byproducts to be put on the label and most often they are not
listed. While there are methods manufacturers can implement to remove a
byproduct like 1,4 dioxane, it is usually not done as the study results
Dangers of Fragrance in Baby Bath Products
products on store shelves offer a wide array of fragrances. Some
fragrances are soft, designed to calm baby down, others are more crisp
and refreshing. These fragrances are mainly synthetic chemical compounds
and they raise a few health concerns.
The EWG lists fragrance at
the top end of their toxicity scale. With 10 being the highest level of
toxicity, fragrance ranks an eight. Fragrance is a human immune system
intoxicant as well as having neurotoxicity effects.
Department of Dermatology at the Hospital General Universitario in Spain
conducted a study aimed at fragrances and allergies. They found 9.3% of
their subjects tested positive for an allergy to fragrance. Allergy
symptoms from fragrances can include dermatitis, headaches, nausea,
respiratory issues and skin sensitivity.
How PEGs in Baby Bath Products are Harmful
as a cleansing agent, Peg ingredients have many health concerns and
contamination concerns. Peg-80 sorbitan luarate for example is not safe
for use on broken skin and has shown to cause skin irritation and has
reproductive effects in high doses.
Contamination concerns are
also present with this ingredient as 1,4 dioxane may be present as a
result of the manufacturing process. 1,4 dioxane is carcinogenic in
animals and anticipated to be carcinogenic in humans according to the
U.S. National Toxicology Program.
Quaternium-15 in Baby Products is a Health Concern
as a preservative, quaternium-15 is a known human immune system
toxicant as well as a skin toxicant. Animal studies have shown
reproductive effects at high doses and cell mutation has been present as
well. High doses of quaternium-15 have also shown neurological effects
and endocrine disruption in animal studies.
How to Avoid Harmful Ingredients in Baby Products
can avoid harmful ingredients best by understanding how to read labels.
Recognizing the ingredient names and alternate names will assist the
buyer in making safe choices for baby when buying bath products.
will also include warnings such as “Keep out of reach from children”,
and “Use only with Adult Supervision.” Some warnings even advise not to
use product if any allergies or asthma is present or suspected as
breathing problems may occur. Products with these warnings contain
ingredients that have a moderate to high level of health concern
attached to them.
Fragrance free products are available as well
as natural products found often at specialty stores. If a consumer is
unsure he or she can research the product and its ingredients at the EWG, FDA and CDC for more information.
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