There’s a new research report out on baby shampoos, and the news isn’t good. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a non-profit coalition of health and environmental groups, reports that dozens of popular baby shampoos and baby bath products contain formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in varying amounts (read the full report here.) Both are known as possible cancer-causing chemicals. While small exposure or use of a single product may not be a problem, the concern is that multiple exposures to these products over time, combined with environmental exposure to other chemicals, could add up and cause problems later in life.
The Personal Care Products Council, the trade association representing the cosmetics and personal care industry, wasted no time in responding with their own press release. The allegations in the report, they say, “are patently false and a shameful and cynical attempt by an activist group to incite and prey upon parental worries and concerns in order to push a political, legislative and legal agenda.” The chemicals in question are found in quantities “considered to be “trace” or extremely low, are well below established regulatory limits or safety thresholds, and are not a cause for health concern,” they said.
You can decide for yourself who to believe. But what do you do if you decide to believe the report? You can search this list of tested baby bath products and select products showing the lowest levels of these chemicals. You can also look at the label of whatever you buy and choose products with the fewest ingredients and with no synthetic dyes or fragrances–with organic shampoos being your best bet. If you feel like bringing a list of ingredients to avoid with you when you go shopping, the Campaign lists specific ingredients to watch for which may be contaminated by these chemicals.
(Hat tip to The Daily Green for the news.)