April 1, 2009

A Baby Bath With....Formaldehyde?

It was found that many children's bath products contain chemicals which could cause cancer and skin allergies, according to a report released in March by the CSC (Campaign for Safe Cosmetics).

Of the 48 baby products tested the CSC found that 32 of them (66 percent) contained trace levels of 1,4-dioxane, and 23 of them (47 percent) had levels of formaldehyde. Seventeen of the products (35 percent) actually had detectable levels of BOTH of these chemicals. For a full list of products tested go to http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-03-12-formaldehyde_N.htm#table

Now according to Wikipedia: “Formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency”.
Makes me wonder why only Japan and Sweden have banned formaldehyde from personal care products.

Wikipedia also reports that 1,4-dioxane; “is a known eye and respiratory tract irritant. It is suspected of causing damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys. Accidental worker exposure to 1,4-dioxane has resulted in several deaths. Dioxane is classified by the IARC as a Group 2B carcinogen: possibly carcinogenic to humans because it is a known carcinogen in animals”
California listed 1,4-dioxane as a know cancer causing agent in their proposition 65 (The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act) way back in 1986.

It seems that these companies aren't putting these chemicals into the products intentionally. Instead, they're byproducts of the manufacturing process. I don't know about you, but I don't care HOW they got there. The point is that there are detectable amounts of these potential carcinogens in products many parents are exposing their children to on a daily basis. It has also been reported that companies like Johnson & Johnson state that they have done nothing wrong and are within the guidelines set by the FDA.

So if California can go out of its way to alert us of potential danger with it’s strong consumer labels, and Japan and Sweden can ban the chemicals altogether what makes the FDA all knowing. As I have said before the FDA does not have our best interests at heart.

On the bright side there are companies looking out for us. Products bearing the U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic seal, such as Dr. Bronner's, Intelligent Nutrients and Terressentials were 1,4-dioxane free. And other companies are stepping up to sharply reduce the amounts of chemicals in their products.

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