Carcinogens Found in Baby Bath Products

Baby bath photo

Photo credit: Getty Images

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble: Babies across America are sitting waist deep in an odious brew of cancer-causing chemicals and other toxins that could be detrimental to their health, according to a new report by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics about children's bath and personal-care products.

And don't look to truth in advertising to help you keep harmful ingredients out of your tub anytime soon—the national coalition of nonprofit health and environmental organizations further notes that many of the tainted products are advertised as "gentle," "pure," or "naturally refreshing."

The Campaign sent unopened bottles of bubble bath, baby lotion, and other products targeted at babies and children to an independent lab to be tested for 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde, chemicals that do not appear on product labels but are known to be carcinogenic.

1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde found in popular kids' brands
Of the 48 kids' products tested for 1,4-dioxane, 67 percent showed up positive. The lab also uncovered the presence of formaldehyde in 82 percent of the 28 products it tested. In all, 17 products—including Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea baby wash, Sesame Street Bubble Bath, American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gel, and even Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo—were contaminated with both 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde.

"We know that cosmetics can be made without hazardous ingredients and contaminants," the Campaign adds. "So what's going on? How is it legal for companies to sell baby and kids' skincare products that contain toxic chemicals used in embalming fluid, fumigants and automotive coolant? Worse yet, these chemicals aren't even on the label, so even the most ingredient-conscious parents wouldn't know whether the product is safe."

Take action
To send an e-mail asking your elected officials to clean up the quagmire of personal-care products, visit the Campaign's Web site. To find safer alternatives, mouse on over to the EWG's Safety Guide to Children’s Personal Care Products.

More on toxic personal-care products
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Children Exposed Daily to Personal Care Products With Chemicals Not Proven Safe
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Common Eco-Myth: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) Causes Cancer

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