by Jennifer LoPrete, Itsabelly Marketing & PR Manager (and Mama)
A recent study published in The Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics found elevated levels of chemical phthalates in babies’ urine who had been recently exposed to baby care products (shampoos, lotions and powders).
Phthalates are chemicals that are added to cosmetic products to stabilize fragrance within the product. Phthalates can also be added to toys and other products to make plastics flexible.
Studies in animals suggest that phthalates may cause reproductive harm and birth defects. Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, a University of Washington pediatrician and lead author of the study, said, “The bottom line is that these chemicals likely do exist in products that we’re commonly using on our children and they potentially could cause health effects.”
Currently, the state of California has restricted the use of phthalates in toys. Mexico and Europe have banned the use of phthalates in toys. The FDA does not restrict the use of phthalates and seems to deny any harmful link.
Even more frustrating, is that it is nearly impossible to know, as a consumer, what products contain phthalates. Currently, consumer products are not required to list individual ingredients of fragrances, a common phthalate source. Some products may label phthalates as DEP and DEHP.
As a precaution, I have always limited by children’s exposure to lotions and shampoos. When we do need to use a baby care product, I opt for products from companies like Earth Mama Angel Baby, Mama Rose's Naturals, California Baby and Burts Bees. You can find some of these non-toxic baby products at the Itsabelly Boutique.
To research more about skin care product ingredients and your health, check out Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep site and Health Care With No Harm.