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Do You Know What’s in Your Baby’s Bath Products?

Bath mohawks are all fun and games until you find out you could be exposing your kids to carcinogens.

Each day, as I research different topics to write about for the Colic Calm Journal, I stumble upon hundreds of different sites, touting a mass array of information that can be mind blowing. Case in point–today I read about contaminants in bath products. Now, I don’t live in a cave. Not only am I the Editor of this site, but I also co-run a site for moms called Breezy Mama and thus, I feel like I do a pretty good job in keeping up with what’s safe for baby. So when I clicked on the Contaminants in Bath Products link, I was expecting the usual, “stay away from parabens” spiel that is about as common as BPA-Free. Instead, I read about “hidden carcinogens” and DID feel like I’d been living in a cave.

It turns out that many of the bath products you probably use (Johnson and Johnson’s for goodness sake!) have two known carcinogens, 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde, in them. Manufacturers are using these ingredients in products meant for babies, who are 100 times more sensitive than adults. Organic claims that the industry could easily take out these known carcinogens, if they just made the effort to do so. It’s sickening.

You may be asking why bath products contain these ingredients in the first place. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics breaks it down like this, “1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethyoxylation, which involves using ethylene oxide (a known breast carcinogen) to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh. For example, sodium laurel sulfate – notoriously harsh on the skin – is often converted to the gentler chemical sodium laureth sulfate by processing it with ethylene oxide (the “eth” denotes ethoxylation), which can result in 1,4-dioxane contamination.

Sodium laureth sulfate is just one common example. More than 56 cosmetic ingredients are associated with the contaminant 1,4-dioxane.”

I need to pay attention to what I’m buying instead of reaching for the product that I have a coupon for. If you’re like me and need some help on what to look for, check out the Cosmetic Skin Database, which rates hundreds of products–so you know exactly what you’re putting on your baby.


Earth Mama – Angel Baby

Organic Consumers Association

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Environmental Working Groups’ SKIN DEEP Cosmetic Safety Database

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