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Children’s Toxic Tubs

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A recent study released by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has parents concerned for their children’s well-being in the bathtub. The study, No More Toxic Tub, details toxic and cancer-causing chemicals found in popular children’s bath products.

Despite marketing claims like “gentle” and “pure,” dozens of top-selling children’s bath products are contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, according to the product test results released by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
No More Toxic Tub is the first study to document the widespread presence of both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in bath products for children. Many products tested for this study contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, including the top-selling Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Sesame Street Bubble Bath.

For the study, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned an independent laboratory to test 48 top-selling children’s products for 1,4-dioxane; 28 of those products were also tested for formaldehyde. The tests showed 17 out of 28 products tested – 61%– contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane; these included Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Sesame Street Bubble Bath, Grins & Giggles Milk & Honey Baby Wash and Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wash. Some 23 out of 28 products – 82% – contained formaldehyde at levels ranging from 54 to 610 parts per million (ppm). Baby Magic Baby Lotion had the highest levels of formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known to cause cancer in animals and are listed as probable human carcinogens by the Environmental Protection Agency. Formaldehyde can also trigger skin rashes in some children.

Chemicals are not disclosed on product labels in the USA because contaminants are exempt from labeling laws.

“Given the recent data showing that formaldehyde and the formaldehyde-releasing preservative, quaternium-15, are significant sensitizers and causal agents of contact dermatitis in children, it would be prudent to have these removed from children’s products,” said Sharon Jacob, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.

Contrary to industry statements, there are no regulatory standards that limit formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane or most other toxic chemicals in personal care products sold in the United States. Other nations have stricter standards. Formaldehyde is banned from personal care products in Japan and Sweden. The European Union bans 1,4-dioxane from personal care products and has recalled products found to contain the chemical.

Read the No More Toxic Tub study at http://www.safecosmetics.org/