CHEMICALS FOUND IN BABY PRODUCTS
The is part one of the series about low-tox (toxic substance) baby products. Over the next few weeks we’re going to talk about essential baby skin and personal care products and why it is important to go low on the toxic substance composition of these. We will also mention a list of our favourites in case you want to skip right to knowing which ones to buy. Our babies and children just aren’t the same as us when it comes to how susceptible they are to damage caused by certain chemicals found in their skin or personal care products. They’re at crucial developing years where their immune, endocrine, neurological and entire bodily systems are still developing. Studies show that even small exposures during these critical windows of development can lead to infertility, breast cancer, learning disabilities and other serious problems later in life.
With all this information out there with extensive lab studies and scientific reports that are now public, why is it that most parents still turn a blind eye or perhaps are in disbelief? We think it’s because of the millions of dollars companies spend on advertising that leads you to believe that it’s not such a big deal. You see a popular baby product brand (those which shall remain anonymous) advertise on the telly featuring the chubbiest baby with the cutest round eyes, fresh out of bath time and a perfectly groomed, fresh looking mum (umm…who are we kidding?!) holding up a bottle of baby moisturiser that has all the nasties in it but of course, no ones talking about that- eyes on the cute baby and her momma. You’ve seen this same ad in various different places now, different versions of it too where they’ve paid actors to appear as mums who give their testimonials and it’s appeared on the shelves of your local supermarket, and wow- its priced pretty low! Most of us are bought into the product enough by then. It’s hard to think it could be that bad for your baby so you put them in your shopping basket without a second thought.
LIST OF CHEMICAL INGREDIENTS TO AVOID IN BABY PRODUCTS -
If you are someone who is willing to stop and read the label first, or if you’re already doing (amazing, we’re off to a good start!), you want to consider these ingredients are a complete NO-NO-
Phthalates are found hidden in fragrances.
Accordingly to madesafe.org, phthalates are endocrine disruptors that are linked to reproductive malformations in baby boys, reduced fertility, developmental disorders, asthma, and increased allergic reactions. They’ve also been identified by Project TENDR (Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental Risks) as “a prime example of chemicals of emerging concern to brain development.”
Formaldehyde is linked to cancer and considered a known human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).Either directly added or released from other preservatives over time.
When checking the ingredient list, stay away from the following that are linked to formaldehyde-
formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.
Linked to breast cancer
Sodium laureate sulphate and sodium laurel sulphate-
This ingredient is the reason you get a lather. Often powerful irritants to many, they are also known to harm aquatic life.
Ethanolamines: DEA, TEA and MEA and chemicals ending in “siloxane”-
These are emulsifiers that help combines oil and water, often used in products that leave a softening feel. These are know to persist in the environment due to their inability to break down.
Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3—
Often found in sunscreens, it is linked to endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, contact allegories and photoallergies. It is also harmful to marine life and is banned in some parts of the world.
Linked to hormone disruption and enhances the absorption of pesticides.
Octinoxate, OMC, methoxycinnamate or ethylhexyl methoxy-cinnamate—
Linked to endocrine disruption and reproductive toxicity.
Because of their small size, nanoparticles may be more chemically active and can be fast tracked into the body. So if an ingredient is known to be harmful, a nano version can magnify the harm it causes.
Polyethylene Glycol Compounds or PEGs-
These are used as thickeners, softeners, moisture-carrying agents and penetration enhancers. They may be contaminated with carcinogens.
To make life easier, you can screenshot the image below and save it on your phone to use when you're shopping for baby products in the future. :)