The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a health advocacy organization, is calling for tighter government regulation of personal care products, including baby shampoo and lotions. A study by the organization concludes that more than half the the baby shampoo, lotion and other infant care products contain trace amounts of chemicals thought to cause cancer. According to the health organization, some of the biggest names in the baby shampoo industry may have products on the shelf that contain chemicals characterized as “probable carcinogens.”
Should parents panic? Probably not, suggests a spokeperson the organization. “Our intention is not to alarm parents, but to inform parents that products that claim to be gentle and pure are contaminated with carcinogens, which is completely unnecessary.”
What can parents do? Start reading labels and pay close attention to product marketing. Look for products that clearly state what they do and don’t include. ‘Natural’ may no longer cut it. Instead, look for other descriptions, such as organic, sustainably grown ingredients, no masking agents, no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, no parabens, clear formula chemicals or no fragrance. Stick with the old warning, “if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, look for another product.” Also, be on the look out for companies that have demonstrated a commitment to the safety of children’s products time and time again, such as companies that were built around the “organic” and “environmental health” concepts.