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Baby Products - Baby Health


Slogans on baby products

We all want the best and healthiest for our children.

But do we really know the compositions of these “special baby”, “softness”, “sensitive skin” products so skillfully presented by advertisers ?

Are tests on baby products enough ?

Children inhale more air than adults, their skin is about five times thinner than ours and is significantly more permeable: generally speaking, what is on the skin goes into the child's body under a certain form.

According to information on baby toiletries from the Womens Environmental Network (WEN), "up to six months, infants do not have a blood-brain barrier to prevent blood-borne toxins from entering the brain : Low-level exposure that would have little or no effect on an adult brain can have a significant effect on a baby's brain."

Most of us assume that the toiletries we put on our babies and children every day, in the form of powders, wipes, lotions or shampoos, have been thoroughly tested, comply with regulations and are completely safe.

This is technically correct : all ingredients used in baby products are subject to EU regulations. But some toxicologists, and many environmental groups, believe testing of baby products is insufficient.

Our children are exposed to a “cocktail” of chemicals

Many “baby hygiene” products contain a complex mixture of chemicals for lathering, sliding, etc., as well as different fragrances and preservatives.

Dr Chris Flower, chief executive of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA), said: "The manufacturer must ensure that any product is completely safe and, as a consumer, you can be absolutely certain there is nothing to worry about with these products." Dr Vyvyan Howard, a toxicopathologist specializing in fetal and infant growth at the University of Liverpool, said: "From the day they were conceived , our children are exposed to a "cocktail" of chemicals, most of which did not exist in our grandmothers' time. There are some 70,000 chemicals currently in commercial use, and around 1,000 new substances each year "To test just these 1000 chemicals in combinations of three, one would need at least 166,000 experiments, ignoring the need to study varying doses."

In other words, we really don't know what all these chemicals are going to do in our children's bodies, let alone their combination.

Are they really dangerous for the health of our babies ?

Scientists are concerned that some of these chemicals may build up in our children's bodies.

According to Dr. Howard, "Most children have measurable levels of at least 300 groups of chemicals in their bodies. These chemicals are found in food, household or garden chemicals, cosmetics and even water. the air they breathe. This process can even begin in the womb: "Most of these chemicals cross the placenta or can be passed to the newborn through breast milk."

But are these products really dangerous for the health of our babies? Nobody knows for sure.

Phthalates in baby products

Phthalates, for example, are found in many baby toiletries, toys and even laminated logos on children's clothing. Greenpeace says phthalates may not be listed in the ingredients of baby products because they are contained in the term "fragrance."

Phthalates have recently been banned from some baby teething toys and studies suggest a link between phthalates and early puberty in girls.

A recent American study indicates that 1% of girls show one or two signs of precocious puberty by the age of three. “This does not mean that you should stop using baby lotion or breastfeeding until the age of three, but,” says Dr. Howard, “the younger you are, the greater the risk of being exposed to a change in the system. hormonal or endocrine modulators is important.

Children and babies are the most vulnerable

Greenpeace activists say this is reason enough to refrain from putting these ingredients in your baby's bath every night. “We should certainly be wary of any chemical that has been deemed inherently dangerous, entering and staying in our children's bodies,” says Greenpeace's Mark Strutt. He also argues that current testing and regulation methods are insufficient: “we often ignore the effects on children and fetuses, who are the most vulnerable to the impacts of chemicals.

We are pushing for strong government action on chemicals that can interfere with children's development.

Greenpeace is also concerned about the chemicals in disposable diapers : “They contain mixtures of chemicals in the form of glue, gel, dye, perfume and whitener that are not subject to any government regulation or control.

Sodium polyacrylate, removed from sanitary tampons in 1985 due to its link to "toxic shock syndrome", is still used in disposable diapers.

Eczema and baby products

The increasing use of unnecessary products under the name "hygiene" could certainly do more harm than good to our children's skin. Warm water, for example, is all that is needed to keep most babies clean.

Dr. Michael Cork, consultant dermatologist at Sheffield Children's Hospital, recently published a paper showing that our consumption of baby products such as bubble baths, lotions, oils, talcs, wipes and even baby perfumes, has greatly increased in recent decades.

Up to 20% of British children are now affected by eczema at some stage in their lives, compared to less than 5% during the 1950s. According to Dr. Cork: "There is a strong accumulation of evidence to suggest that the increase in eczema and the increased use of these products are linked.

Detergents in baby baths

These same products can also be used in engine degreasers, car wash shampoos and floor cleaners. This all seems shocking when it comes to skin care, but Dr. Cork explains, “It's not necessarily the individual elements that are problematic. The question is to know the concentration of each ingredient, and above all, the way in which the product is used.

An ingredient may be perfectly well tolerated if rinsed immediately, but may cause allergies if left on the skin. Additionally, some detergents can break down the skin's natural protective barrier. So other irritants and allergens – like dust mites – can get in.”

Hypoallergenic baby bath !

Dr. Cork believes the main problem is not the ingredients, but insufficient labeling. Quantities are not given and words like "hypoallergenic" are nonsense: "This means that the ingredients are less likely to cause an allergic reaction to another molecule.

Dr. Cork concludes that "if we removed certain ingredients from shampoos and baths for babies and children, we could prevent a large number of children from being affected by eczema."

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Translation of an article from the newspaper the guardian
Original file /www.guardian.co.uk/chemicalworld/