Did you know that of the thousands of chemicals used in cosmetic and personal care products, only a tiny fraction have ever been fully tested for toxicity?
That includes chemicals used in child care products, many of which are labelled as ‘natural’, ‘safe’, or ‘recommended by doctors. The Environmental Working Group reported that “77% of the ingredients in 1,700 children’s products reviewed have not been assessed for safety”. The report also states that 35% of all children’s products marked as "natural" contain one or more artificial preservatives that have been linked in laboratory studies to allergic reactions, hormone disruption, or nervous system problems.
When you consider just how many toxins are in your body wash, moisturizer, deodorant, perfume, makeup, hair products etc, you can begin to understand what a toxic cocktail your body has to contend with. Even those toxins that have been bested for safety are tested alone, so we really have no idea of what the accumulated effects of all those chemical really are.
Even if we carefully read the labels, we may not know what we’re being exposed to. Some chemicals are not added to the products, but result from the interaction of other chemicals.
The Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association reported that quaternium 15, a chemical preservative used in America’s leading baby shampoo and many other baby products, may be causing higher rates of allergic contact dermatitis. The reason for this is that the chemical kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde. Quaternium 15 “is the most sensitizing formaldehyde-releasing preservative and has been repeatedly shown to be a strong allergen that can cause contact dermatitis.”
Manufacturers know this, but still continue to use the chemical because they are cheaper than safer alternatives. Fortunately, public concern over this particular baby shampoo and others has finally convinced the manufacturer to recall the product.
This is just a drop in the ocean. What we do know is that the toxins in our personal care products are adding to an unprecedented increase in autoimmune diseases, hormonal problems, cancers, reproductive problems, allergies and asthma. And with repeated exposure to these toxins, more and more of us, including babies, are developing chemical allergies. The message here: Become informed and choose wisely.