When starting out on the natural journey we often wonder what is safe for our babies and what products are good to use and which ones should we stay away from. It is true that within the last several years we have heard a lot of surprising facts about baby care, household brands that we have grown to love. Some of these brands have been sued for using ingredients that have been proven to cause cancer, and to think we all, at some point, may have used these products on the one's we love the most, our children.
In previous blog posts I have mentioned that it is important to start doing some research and become a label reader. We may never know and understand every ingredient used but there are some that are used in almost all skin are products, even those for babies, that we can learn to look for and avoid. See below for a list of a few chemical ingredients that are not safe for your babies.
You’ve probably heard of the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA. It causes damage to the brain, reproductive system, heart, liver, and more. This ingredient is mainly found in teething rings. What's most bothering is that some of the brands claim that their product is BPA Free.
In 2011, formaldehyde was classified as a “known human carcinogen” in report by the National Toxicology Program, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Researchers found that long-term exposure to formaldehyde was linked to an increase in leukemia and brain cancer. It’s important to note that this exposure happened over many years.
Some manufacturers of baby products have begun eliminating formaldehyde from their products because of consumer concerns. However, some products do still contain formaldehyde “releasers.”
While it is considered a natural substance, we thought it was important to include on our list given the concerning headlines lately. Talcum powder is the pulverized form of a naturally occurring mineral, which is composed of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Although the silky texture and moisture absorbing properties make it an ideal choice to treat diaper rash, doctors have warned that talc dust can cause infant breathing problems.
More recently, talcum powder lawsuit headlines have added another reason to avoid using talc-based baby powders. While study results are mixed, there is a great deal of evidence tying talc and ovarian cancer together.
This petroleum-based chemical absorbs liquids and maintains a uniform moisture level in antifreeze and many other consumer goods, including some brands of baby wipes. It’s well known and accepted that propylene glycol is dangerous in high doses, but it isn’t clear that small doses on the skin cause harm. However, you should be careful to always put your baby wipes away immediately after use, so your baby or toddler doesn’t put one into her mouth. At higher concentrations, it can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis.
Have you ever wondered what exactly, is in the “fragrance” that you see listed as an ingredient in so many products? You’re not alone. In most cases, though, the manufacturer won’t tell you. Although the ingredients are required to be listed under the fair packaging and labeling act, they can also be protected as “trade secrets.”
The truth is, many different artificial and natural substances are used to create these scents. So it’s hard to know what you’re putting onto your baby’s skin.
Baby oil is one of the most popular infant care products of all time. Used exactly as directed, there don’t appear to be any major safety concerns about it. However, children have developed serious respiratory problems by inhaling small amounts of mineral oil. Apparently, it prevents the tiny hairs in the airway from triggering a cough when the liquid is inhaled. Since there’s no coughing, the mineral oil can travel directly into the lungs and cause serious illness.
Unfortunately parabens are everywhere. They can be found in all soaps, body washes, shampoos, and moisturizers, including those marketed toward babies. Parabens are neurotoxins and are linked to reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption, and skin irritation. Stay away from anything with ‘paraben’ in its name, as well as benzoic acid and propyl ester.
Check out our website for some products that you may be looking for, for you little. Here are some suggested products: Diaper Balm, Shea Healing Butter for dry skin, African Black Soap, Anti-Bacterial Ointment, and Lip Balm. Check back often as we are constantly adding new products to our Kid's Line.
Visit consumersafety.org and www.treehugger.com for more information on toxic chemicals.