Are products that should be helping your children actually harming them? Some ingredients seem perfectly safe, but a little digging can tell a different story. Talcum powder, mineral oil, triclosan, Belladonna, and unknown “fragrances”—all of these can be found in baby care products, but how safe are they? As we delve into the dangers of certain baby care products, we will also provide healthier alternatives.
Lately I have been forced to re-visit my purpose. The purpose of this blog, my business and what kind of impact I want to have on the world. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day activities that you lose sight of your purpose.
That purpose, for me, is to spread the word and educate people about that harmful chemicals our families are being exposed to. Not only educate, but provide alternatives that are super easy and affordable.
Unfortunately, the United States is doing little to protect you and your family.
They are actually doing quite the opposite.
So it's up to you and me to advocate for our families. To seek out the truth and do everything we can to protect them. Starting from birth on…
So today we are sharing 5 things that you definitely want to leave out of your diaper bag!
1. Baby Powder
Baby Powder is a staple for treating diaper rash, but it has also been used by women for decades for their intimate care. Traditionally made from talc, a naturally occurring silicate mineral, baby powder is associated with that “new baby smell” we all love—but it’s also connected to something more sinister.
In 2016 there was a renewed concern over the possible link between talcum powder and an increased risk of ovarian cancer after several major lawsuits involving Johnson & Johnson. While evidence is still building, a safer alternative is a talc-free powder made from arrowroot, earth clays, or rice powder, such as Baby Bee’s Dusting Powder or Honest Organic Baby Powder.
2. Baby Oil
Baby oil is often used as a moisturizer, either after a bath, or for cradle cap. While it is generally regarded as safe, there are many reasons to avoid it. Baby oil is made from mineral oil—a petroleum byproduct—with added “fragrance.” Mineral oils act like liquid plastic, inhibiting breathability and toxin release. Better options include natural oils like coconut oil, almond oil and olive oil.
3. Antibacterial Soaps
Are antibacterial soaps necessary at home—or more importantly on a baby? Nearly all antibacterial soaps contain triclosan (which is a carcinogenic endocrine disruptor), so it should definitely be kept away from infants. Babies are generally clean until they become mobile, so you shouldn’t have to swab them down with antibacterial cleansers. Evidence suggests that having some exposure to bacteria may actually strengthen a baby’s immune system.
Belladonna has been in the news recently due to a few high profile drugstore recalls. It’s used as a homeopathic teething remedy, but it has also been linked to seizures and adverse health complications in children. This isn’t because it’s inherently unsafe, but rather due to inconsistent amounts in products, and the lack of government regulation for homeopathic products.
Teething toys have also been found to contain contain BPA- and are not regulated by the FDA because they aren’t considered a food or drug. As an alternative, try a frozen washcloth, or gentle pressure from a parent’s finger on the gums. For older children, some frozen banana in a mesh feeding tube will provide some comfort without becoming a choking hazard.
Fragrance is found in so many personal care products we use, and not just for babies. Sometimes scents are used because they smell nice, and other times it’s to mask chemical odors from other ingredients. Fragrances often contain petroleum-derived synthetic chemicals which can cause respiratory, neurological, and skin damage, and may lead to asthma, and companies are not required to disclose what ingredients are in “fragrance.” Use fragrance-free, organic, or sensitive products instead.
Many personal care products contain formaldehyde as well. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen, which is any substance that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. Researchers found that long-term exposure to formaldehyde increased the chances of leukemia and brain cancer. Formaldehyde is a common ingredient in baby shampoo, though some manufacturers have begun eliminating it due to consumer concerns, although some products do still contain formaldehyde “releasers”. Make sure to carefully read the labels of your baby products to ensure that formaldehyde is not listed in the ingredients.
Though this can be terrifying, the easiest way to minimize these risks is to be cognizant of the ingredients in the products that are being used. There are organic, all-natural alternatives to products that may contain these harmful ingredients. For more information, check out Consumer Safety’s “7 Harmful Ingredients in Baby Care Products”.
It is up to you and me to do our best to protect our families!