From learning how to smile to taking their first steps, babies grow on a daily basis, and the first three years of life are the most critical for development[1]. During this vulnerable time, it is important to limit babies’ exposure to chemicals linked to adverse health effects so that every baby has the chance to develop into a healthy adult.

Babies, just like grown-ups, are exposed to many toxic chemicals via personal care products throughout the day including sunscreens, ointments, oils, shampoos and soaps.  Many of these products are easily absorbed through the skin into the blood stream, and babies are at least ten times more vulnerable to the chemicals in these products than adults.[2]

Products of Concern– Shampoo, soap, conditioner, body wash, wipes, lotion, bubble bath, baby oil and sunscreen.

Chemicals of Concern– 1, 4-Dioxane, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, fragrance, phthalates, parabens, octinoxate, benzophenones, ethanolamines and nitrosamines.

Top 4 Tips for Babies

  1. Avoid sunscreens with octinoxate, oxybenzone, benzone and homosalate. While it’s important to make sure that babies are protected against UVA/UVB rays,it’s equally important to make sure that these sunscreens do not contain toxic chemicals.
  2. Avoid mineral oil in baby oil. Try coconut oil or olive oil instead!
  3. Reduce the amount of baby products with added fragrance.
  4. Read labels closely and find safer alternatives using tools like the Think Dirty app and GoodGuide.

Johnson & Johnson and the toxic tub report

In response to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics 2011 report, Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic, Johnson & Johnson released a statement saying they would phase out formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from baby products worldwide.

 

References 

[1] Graham, J. (2011, December 1). Children and Brain Development: What We Know About How Children Learn. Retrieved February 28, 2015, from http://umaine.edu/publications/4356e/

[2] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Supplemental guidance for assessing susceptibility from early-life exposures to carcinogens. EPA Risk Assessment Forum. EPA/630/R-03/003F. March 2005. [Final version of 2003 Draft]. 2005.