Campaign for Safe Cosmetics study:
What They Found
"The lab tested 48 kids' products for 1,4-dioxane and found it in 67 percent of the products. Of the 28 products tested for formaldehyde, 82 percent were positive. Seventeen products were contaminated with both 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde."
"While a single product might not be cause for concern, the reality is that babies may be exposed to several products at bath time, several times a week, in addition to other chemical exposures in the home and environment. Those small exposures add up and may contribute to later-life disease.
Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known carcinogens; formaldehyde can also trigger skin rashes in some children. Unlike many other countries, the U.S. government does not limit formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, or most other hazardous substances in personal care products."
What You Can Do
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. There are signs the U.S. is gearing to catch up, but for now it's up to consumers to consider carefully before they buy. Here's some suggestions for safeguarding your family's health:
- Simplify: Select products with fewer ingredients and no synthetic fragrance or dyes, and use fewer products overall.
- Choose safety: Search EWG's cosmetic safety database, Skin Deep, to learn more about the products you use and find safer alternatives. Also check out EWG's Safety Guide to Children’s Personal Care Products.
- Read labels: Select products for baby and yourself that don't contain the ingredients listed above, which are commonly contaminated with formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane.
- Take action! Can’t memorize these lists? Nobody can. If harmful contaminants and ingredients weren’t allowed in products, you wouldn’t have to. Tell Congress you want safe cosmetics for babies, adults and everyone in between.
- Spread the word: Send an e-card letting friends and family know about this report.