Body, Bath & Beauty Blog

The Safety of Baby Shampoo

Posted on: October 6, 2009

There’s been a lot of press this year on new concerns about what is in baby shampoo. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has taken an aggressive role in patrolling product manufacturers and pressuring them to eliminate potentially harmful chemicals from their products. Naturally, baby products are something we want to be very cautious about. You would think that the FDA would assess and regulate baby products for safety. However, the FDA does not have authority to require assessment of safety for pre-market products like it with drugs. As a result, cosmetics products are some of the least-regulated on the market.

In March 2009, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 48 products and 61% contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. One of these was Johnson’s Baby Shampoo! The report says:

“Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known carcinogens; formaldehyde can also trigger skin rashes in some children. Unlike many other countries, the U.S. government does not limit formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, or most other hazardous substances in personal care products.”

There are labeling laws that require ingredients to be listed, but these chemicals are not ingredients, they are byproducts of preservatives in the products & of processes in making the products. The preservatives (eg. quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea) are added to eliminate bacteria from forming in the product while it sits in storage or on shelves. However, over time these preservatives can release formaldehyde in the container. 1,4 dioxane is a little different though. The report says that “1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of a chemical processing technique called ethoxylation, in which cosmetic ingredients are processed with ethylene oxide” to make them more soluble in water and foamy. Unless this is done under a low pressure environment, small amounts of potentially carcinogenic 1,4-Dioxane can be produced.

Things don’t have to be this way, there are alternatives that are available to everyone. I previously wrote about Skin Deep, a cosmetic safety database that consumers can use to find safe products. There are products out there that don’t use these preservatives and processes, eliminating the need for concern. And they’re not necessarily expensive products either. The company I work for makes a great line of affordable products for children. The Bath Therapy Baby & Kids line was created to provide parents with a healthy choice for washing their little ones. The line is gentle, tear free, hypoallergenic, and has a light fragrance. Most importantly though, it is regularly lab tested and DOES NOT contain: sulfates, parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, or artificial colors. I have actually tried Baby & Kids myself, and they are a great body wash for adults too. The Lullabye Lavender is my favorite. The texture of the wash is soft, not too thick, and the scent is very mild, not overpowering. You can read more about Bath Therapy Kids & Baby by clicking here. The line is available on our new website, BelcamShop.com.

-RyanNY

Update 12/21: Don’t just take my word for it! Check out this review of Bath Therapy Kids & Baby at MyFamilyLovesIt.com.

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