Saturday, March 14, 2009

I can't take all these scare tactics!

Ok. Just this week I learned the baby bottles AND the baby shampoo I've been using can cause cancer. I mean, really? What's going on? Every other day I'm reading that something I'm doing is wrong for the health and safety of my child. I don't know where to turn. So, yes... I can stop using the plastic bottles and stop using Johnson's Baby Soap. I get that. But I've already been using these things for 2 years. Has the damage already been done?

If you haven't heard, a recent study is saying that many children's bath products contain chemicals that may cause cancer and skin allergies.


According to the study, which was released earlier this week by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, 23 of 28 products tested contained formaldehyde. For those of you only familiar with formaldehyde as an embalming agent, it's considered a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency and is released as preservatives break down over time in a container.

32 of 48 products contained 1,4-dioxane, also considered a probable human carcinogen by the EPA, which is a byproduct of a chemical processing techniques used to make petroleum-based ingredients gentler to the skin. Nearly two-thirds of products tested, including Johnson's Baby Shampoo, contained both chemicals, according to a coalition of environmental and health groups that includes the Breast Cancer Fund and the Environmental Working Group.

A spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson says the company's products are safe, meeting or exceeding all regulations. And a spokesman for the Personal Care Products Council says the study's results are old news.

Apparently, manufacturers have known for years that bubble bath, shampoo and other products contain small amounts of formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, and have already reduced theses levels significantly, says John Bailey, the council's chief scientist.

A new study from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that many baby bath products contain formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, which are both linked to cancer and skin allergies. The campaign notes that products with formaldehyde levels over 500 parts per million require warning labels in Europe, although not in the USA.

I just bought a new bottle of Johnson's soap... Can I get a refund?


Cassie said...

I just read that report this morning too and found that the Huggies bath wash my kids use every day is on the "bad" list too. Frustrating and scary! What the heck are we supposed to use? Maybe we should just live in an organic cardboard box and never venture out again.

What is even more frustrating is the "healthy and safe" alternatives are obscure products that are expensive and impossible to find.

Anonymous said...

Scare tactics is right. The health column of the Washington Post put it into perspective:

"Extensive studies of two toxic chemicals found in children's bath and personal care products suggest that if they pose a health hazard, it is likely to be extremely small and probably incalculable, a review of scientific research shows."