Several years ago when I was fairly new to natural & green parenting, a good friend told me to avoid using conventional baby products where my newborn daughter was concerned. This meant ix-nay on the bubble bath, no tears shampoo, powder, and lotion that so many people bestowed upon me as gifts. My friend sent me some links though and I checked out what was in those products and quickly realized that these products had no place being rubbed on my baby’s skin or being put in her bath water. I will always be grateful to her for that information. Thanks Lauren…you rock!
In many ways it was that experience and others like it… such as when I found out how many noxious chemicals are in disposable diapers… that “set me off” on this path. I was horrified to learn how corporations could be so reckless with my health and with my children’s health. I was horrified that my government wasn’t doing a better job to protect us against this onslaught… I mean aren’t they responsible for national defense???? I felt betrayed on so many levels and decided then that I would change my life, change my consumer purchases, and hopefully help other moms who still hadn’t had that all important “Ahaa” moment.
Recently this issue has stirred the pot up something fierce and much of it revolves around mom bloggers. Johnson and Johnson enlisted the help of mom bloggers to promote their bath products in a large media campaign. They even started up a contest to encourage moms to use their products called Big Bubblin Stars.
A Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report disclosed that there are known carcinogens in baby bath products and J&J appears on the report several times. These carcinogens are 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde. The report in no way singles out J&J but in view of their current campaign to use moms to reach other moms, this is especially bad timing. ;)
It has prompted a different group of mom bloggers to cry foul and as I was reading some of their posts I noticed that many of them were being visited by a commenter who seemed bent on refuting the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report. He claimed that the FDA had deemed these products safe and was insinuating that anyone who dared disagree was creating hysteria and being naive.
That is actually what prompted me to post today. I was getting slowly infuriated by this BULL HONKEY. These products have known carcinogens in them. Carcinogen means “cancer causing”. The reason that companies get away with putting this stuff in the products we use on our children is simple…the regulatory agencies are declaring that the amount in the product is so small that it cannot be considered harmful. I am sorry but BULL HONKEY. As Jack Nicholson would say… “Go sell crazy someplace else.”
The amount may in fact be small but THIS mom and various watchdog agencies are concerned about cumulative exposure. The same cumulative exposure we worry about with BPA. One bath product may only have trace amounts of these harmful chemicals but how many baths do kids take? How many other products that also contain these harmful ingredients do they also use… lotion, shampoo, etc? Companies and regulatory agencies are not required to anticipate a total exposure level so it is no wonder that these products get a “safe” label when they are anything but safe, IMO.
And it is not just bath products. Imagine the potential for harm when we bathe our kids in chemical bath soap, then dress them in PJs with chemical flame retardants, put them to bed on a mattress that off gasses chemicals… all after a dinner of veggies grown with herbicides. We are bombarding our kids with chemicals and it NEEDS TO STOP! Why should any company get to stand by and peddle products that can potentially make our kids sick just because their product doesn’t have the full dose required to the do the job? The Kids Safe Chemical Act is an initiative that seeks to reform the nation’s toxic chemical regulatory law and change the products that consumers buy. Our kids are worth it and parents need to take a stand and not support companies and products that are lax about chemical safety and cumulative exposure.
And of course we need to SUPPORT companies that are making ethical and conscious decisions. Some that come to mind for me are EcoStore, Miessence Organics, and Tru Kid. Ironically at least two of these companies originated outside the US where safety is taken far more seriously.
Wednesday, April 1st, 2009