The mainstream news has been rattled with repeated stories concerning nasty chemicals in baby products. What’s the issue? The Baby’s Tub Is Still Toxic report from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a non-profit agency whose goal is to bring attention to harmful chemicals in our skin care products, reports that many of the baby products that have been used and trusted without question for many years contain cancer-causing chemicals, specifically, 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde.
Though these chemicals are not regulated in the United States, they have been banned in other countries. 1,4-dioxane is banned in Europe and formaldehyde is banned in Japan and Sweden.
Two Big Nastys
1,4-dioxane is used as a foaming agent and found in many popular baby products, such as shampoos. 1,4-dioxane is readily absorbed into the bloodstream potentially causing damage to the central nervous system, liver, kidneys and may even result in death. 1,4-dioxane is not a product added intentionally, but instead is considered a contaminant and therefore not required to be listed on product labels in the USA. Manufacturers can easily remove the toxic byproduct, but are not required by law to do so. There is certainly a push for removal.
Formaldehyde is found in lotion, shampoo, bath wash, baby wipes, liquid shower soap, bubble bath and hand soap. Considering the widespread use of formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, it is certain that formaldehyde is in other product types. Formaldehyde is a gas which can cause throat, nose, skin, and eye irritation. Exposure can cause coughing, wheezing, watery eyes, itching, and skin irritations. Formaldehyde exposure has been linked to allergies and asthma in children. The EPA classifies formaldehyde as a carcinogen and high levels of this chemical have been linked to the development of nose, lung and brain cancer as well as leukemia. Like 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde is not an ingredient in the products, but is a toxic byproduct of chemical manufacturing and product formulation.
Only a Little?
Some baby product manufacturers continue to argue that their products only contain a small amount of these chemicals and are below acceptable levels. To be fair, Johnson & Johnson, the leading manufacturer that caused all of the uproar in the news now states:
“…we know that some consumers are concerned about formaldehyde, which is why we offer many products without formaldehyde releasing preservatives, and are phasing out these types of preservatives in our baby products worldwide. We are no longer introducing new baby products that contain these types of preservatives. Over the past few years or so, we already have reduced the number of formulations globally with formaldehyde releaser preservatives by 33% and in the U.S. by over 60%.”
They also now state:
“We have reformulated approximately 70% of our baby products with new cleansing formulations that keep trace levels of 1,4 dioxane at below reliably detectable levels.”
Is it enough? We really think not … and wonder why it has taken so long to find a healthier option. ecoSTORE USA do not contain either of these chemicals … never have and never will … and we provide full ingredient disclosure on all of our products so you’ll always know exactly what is in there.