Chemicals in Baby Products

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Home => Product Alerts => Chemicals Found in the Urine of Babies - from Baby Products

Chemicals Found in the Urine of Babies - from Baby Products

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Is it a new trend of exposing humans early, as babies, to chemicals and other dangerous substances, or is it a pure ignorance for the sake of profit?

A study, which appeared in February's issue of the journal Pediatrics, involved 163 babies living in California, Minnesota and Missouri.

The researchers measured levels of several phthalates (pronounced thowl-ates) in urine from diapers. Also, the researchers asked the mothers to list which baby products they used in the previous 24 hours as far as lotions, powders, diaper creams and baby wipes.

All urine samples had detectable levels of at least one phthalate, and most had levels of several more. The highest levels of the phthalates were linked with shampoos, lotions and powders, and were most prevalent in babies younger than 8 months.

The study has described: "Phthalates are synthetic, man-made chemicals of increasing public importance because of potential toxic effects to the developing endocrine and reproductive systems. These chemicals are found in plastic products such as children's toys, lubricants, infant care products, chemical stabilizers in cosmetics, personal care products, and polyvinyl chloride tubing.

Phthalates are not chemically bound to these products and are therefore continuously released into the air or through leaching into liquids, leading to exposure through ingestion, dermal transfer, and inhalation.

Children are uniquely vulnerable to phthalate exposures given their hand-to-mouth behaviors, floor play, and developing nervous and reproductive systems. Although recent data suggest that some phthalates can adversely affect human male reproductive function, few studies have characterized phthalate biomarkers or sources of exposure in infants and toddlers."

The study's lead author, Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, a University of Washington pediatrician, said, "The bottom line is that these chemicals likely do exist in products that we're commonly using on our children and they potentially could cause health effects."

The federal government doesn't limit their use, although California and some countries have restricted their use.

"There is an obvious need for laws that force the beauty industry to clean up its act," said Stacy Malkan of Health Care Without Harm.

Concerned parents can seek products labeled "phthalate-free," or check labels for phthalates: DEHP, DBP, MEP, MBP, MBzP, MiBP, DiNP, SFFI, SFFII, MMP, MCPP, DnOP, MEHP, MEHHP, MEOHP, LOD, LPMC, CI, NHANES, DEP, BBzP.

But the chemicals often don't appear on product labels. That's because retail products aren't required to list individual ingredients of fragrances, which are a common phthalate source.

If you simply don't want to deal with this and you care for your baby’s health, perhaps you should get organic or natural products free of these chemicals.

- You can read the study at:

Also, you can check the database of personal care products by the Environmental Working Group that includes baby-care products and evaluates whether individual products are likely to be safe.


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Chemicals in Baby Products