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Pregnancy is the time we take utmost care of ourselves. We eat right, we breathe right, we sleep right. We know how tender & vulnerable our little one is inside.
And, after the baby is born, we rush to the chemists & buy those baby products like soap, shampoo, powder, cream, oils, wipes, lotions etc, the best brand that we can. The best brand is in most cases the one who picks a big celebrity mother to advertise for their products or the one whose packaging looks super attractive or many times the one which is super expensive. For many of us, product price is the measure of the quality of the product.
In all this madness, we forget, Infants and their skin are so tender! In fact, the first three years of a child’s life are very crucial as far as health is concerned. The immune system and central nervous system are still immature and developing. We should be wary of what chemicals we expose to the child for obvious reasons. It reduces many kinds of risks like allergies, sensitivities & even some kinds of cancers and other ailments.
It is sad to see that some baby products which claim to be natural or organic or baby friendly are not really good for the babies. They contain harmful chemicals. We see the brand name of the product on the front, flip the bottle/box to see the price but, do we check the product for its chemical composition! Rarely do we #ReadTheLabel!
After those super watchful days of pregnancy, when did we change into an ignorant parent, who trusts so much on the brand name, who does not care to see the ingredients of the product we use for our baby every single day?
Well, here are 10 toxic chemicals (best avoided) that one should check especially while buying baby products –
They are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products; they stop fungus, bacteria and other microbes from growing in your favorite creams. Parabens are neurotoxins and might be linked to breast cancer tumors, reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption and skin irritation, though there is no clear scientific evidence to prove the same.
Various chemicals of this family of poly ethylene glycols are found across lotions, creams and shampoos. It is a carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that reduces the skin’s natural moisture, increases the appearance of aging and leaves you vulnerable to bacteria. PEGs contain potential toxic impurities. PEG is generally considered biologically inert and safe. However, a few people are allergic to it. Allergy to PEG is usually discovered after a person has been diagnosed with an allergy to an increasing number of seemingly unrelated products, including processed foods, cosmetics, drugs, and other substances that contain PEG or were manufactured with PEG.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Sulfate is the ingredient that causes shampoos to lather. If your shampoo lathers, it contains sulfates. These chemicals are sometimes found in baby shampoo and bath products. SLS/SLES is an irritant. It causes eye or skin irritation in experiments conducted on animals and humans. It can be allergic to skin and eyes and some research studies have proved that these chemicals cause cancer, reduces immunity, nervous system disorders.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has defined formaldehyde as “cancer-causing chemical to humans.” Formaldehyde has been given the highest (i.e. worst) score for its negative health impact by The Environmental Working Group (EWG). Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are associated with widespread allergic contact dermatitis. In view of its widespread use, toxicity, and volatility, formaldehyde poses a significant danger to human health. Formaldehyde is highly toxic to all animals, regardless of method of intake.
Mineral oil is a cheap by-product of petroleum processing. The World Health Organization classifies untreated or mildly treated mineral oils as Group 1 carcinogens to humans; highly refined oils are classified as Group 3, meaning they are not suspected to be carcinogenic but available information is not sufficient to classify them as harmless. It is like a plastic wrap on the skin. Sometimes, baby oil is a combination of mineral oil mixed with fragrance. Applying baby oil on the skin of the baby hinders the ability to release toxins.
An undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals. The baby products which contain fragrance are body powder, baby wash, shampoo, lotion, diapers and a lot more. There is evidence that exposure to fragrance leads to asthma, causes neurological, skin, respiratory and eye damage too. We should avoid any product that lists fragrance, perfume or parfum.
In loose form, it, along with corn starch, was one of the most widely used substances known as baby powder. Talc, with heavy refinement, has been used in baby powder, an astringent powder used to prevent diaper rash. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents not use baby powder because it poses a risk of respiratory problems, including breathing trouble and serious lung damage if the baby inhales it. The particles are so small, it is difficult to keep them out of the air while applying the powder. Zinc oxide-based ointments are a much safer alternative.
Fragrances often contain Phthalates. It is often not listed in the labels. The health effects include damage to kidneys/liver, birth defects, decreased sperm counts and early breast development in girls. Look for labels which read “phthalates-free” or “no phthalates”.
Some preservatives like benzoic acid can generate benzene. And benzene is a proven carcinogen associated with leukemia and other blood cancers.
Octinoxate is the most widely used UVB absorbing agent in sunscreen today. While studies have not shown that octinoxate has the toxicity of oxybenzone, there are definitely reasons to be wary of this ingredient in your sun care products especially if used in extremely high concentrations. According to the EWG, octinoxate is a moderate hazard with a 6 rating primarily because it can lead to developmental and reproductive toxicity through enhanced skin absorption. It is a penetration enhancer and is easily absorbed into the skin. Octinoxate can produce estrogen-like effects that really aren’t all that dissimilar to oxybenzone–it is a hormone disruptor.
So, make sure you have this list of handy somewhere & do read the label of any product you buy for your young child. Let us make a habit to #ReadTheLabel & make a better & safe future in terms of health, for our children.
Edit: Removed Sodium Benzoate since it has been termed safe by the MadeSafe organization which have tested more than 8000 known toxins.
This is a sponsored post and based on information provided by the sponsoring company MamaEarth.
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