When it comes to choosing shampoos, lotions, and other personal products for your kids — or helping them make good choices — it’s not an easy question to answer. That’s because you will find chemicals like phthalates, parabens, and formaldehyde in many personal care products.
We are going to focus on Parabens.
What are parabens?
Parabens are a family of chemicals that occur naturally in some foods and are added to many products to extend their shelf life. They’re used in pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic, and toiletry products, including some baby products.
Parabens are inexpensive, highly effective preservatives. They prevent the growth of mold and bacteria that could spoil products or potentially harm consumers. Different parabens stop the growth of different organisms, so products often include a combination of parabens to protect against a broad range of microorganisms.
The major ones in cosmetics and personal care products are:
- Methyl paraben (CAS 99-76-3)
- Ethyl paraben (CAS 120-47-8)
- n-Propyl paraben (CAS 94-13-3)
- Butyl paraben (two isomers):
- n-Butyl paraben (CAS 94-26-8)
- iso-Butyl paraben (CAS 4247-02-3)
Why are they dangerous?
Parabens act like the female hormone oestrogen in our bodies. Even though its a small amount it still is a concern. There are some concerns that this may affect our health. In particular, high levels of oestrogen can increase the risk of certain types of cancer
Furthermore they can affect the reproductive systems of male animals when ingested or injected.
Further studies are needed to find out how parabens are absorbed into our bodies when they’re applied to our skin.
We don’t know whether parabens have more of an effect on babies and children than they do on adults. It’s possible that infants may be more vulnerable to any potential effects.
In particular, young babies may absorb more parabens through their nappy area if they have irritated or damaged skin. However, regulating bodies are confident that the current levels of parabens allowed in toiletries are safe for babies and children.
If you’re particularly concerned about parabens, check the labels on any skin and beauty products you use. Some of the more common parabens to look out for are:
The department of Ecology at the University of Washington recently did a study of five different Parabens.
Children’s products were tested for five parabens (methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, n-propyl paraben and two butyl paraben esters, n-butyl and iso-butyl). A wide range of product types were tested, and parabens were found in appreciable levels in many products to which children are exposed primarily either by mouth or applied to their skin. Seasonal products such as Halloween makeup contained both the highest levels and the greatest incidence of detection. Parabens were found in 78 percent of the Halloween product components tested. (link below)
Various reports and rulings over labeling.
The CSPA Reporting Rule was finalized in June of 2011 (Ecology, 2011) and implements the reporting requirements under the CSPA. Companies making children’s products must report on 66 chemicals or classes of chemicals if found in children’s products (Ecology, 2009). This includes chemicals that have primarily either been found in children’s products or have been documented to be present in human tissues. Four parabens and their parent compound phydroxybenzoic acid are included. Reporting requirements began with the largest manufacturers making products intended for mouth or skin contact or any product that is mouthable for children three years and under. Other manufacturers report using a phased-in schedule included in the rule.
Because there are no confirmed health risks from low doses of parabens, they’re widely used in toiletries. However, it’s increasingly easy to find paraben-free alternatives if you like, especially for babies. In many cases, the labelling on baby products will state if they’re paraben-free. But not always as the rules differ from country to country and province or state.
Paraben, Phthalate, PEG Free Baby Products (From http://safemama.com)
- California Baby
- Erbaviva Natural Organic Baby
- Nature’s Baby Organics
- Burt’s Bees Baby
- Clean Kids Naturally
- Lily Organics
- Aubrey Organics
- Little Twig
- TruKid Skin Care
- Mei Mei Baby Care
- Gaia Natural Baby
- Serendipity Soap, Wild Child Line
- Erba Organics
- Love Me Baby Me
- Nurture My Body
- Kiss My Face Kids Obsessively Natural
- EcoStore USA Baby Care
- Mambino Organics
- Tawna Hill Baby Care
- Oopsie Daisy Beautiful Baby
Discuss this further http://www.mychildssafety.com/forums/forum/parabens/
Sites we used for this article
DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided here is for informational purposes only. This post may not cover all possible drug interactions or all FDA / WHO warnings or alerts. Please check with a physician if you have health questions or concerns about interactions or go to the FDA / WHO for a comprehensive list of warnings. Although we attempt to provide accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee is made to that effect.