Every day you're exposed to more than 123 chemicals through your skin and mouth- the vast majority of which have never been screened for safety by the FDA! They're even in your children's personal care products...seriously!
When exposed to toxic chemicals, children are not miniature adults. Even small doses can affect their sensitive developing bodies, leaving them vulnerable to allergies and frequent bouts of infections, colds, and even behavior challenges. In the February 2008 issue of the journal "Pediatrics", it was reported for the first time that infants and children are exposed to toxins from everyday baby products, including shampoo, lotion, toxic cosmetics, and powder.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit research based, consumer advocacy organization based in Washington DC, reports that personal care products expose children to an average of 60 chemicals every day that they can breathe in or that absorb through their skin. EWG conducted product testing in partnership with Health Care Without Harm and other members of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
They go on to report that since federal law contains no safety standard for cosmetics, it is legal for companies to use ingredients that are reproductive toxins like phthalates, carcinogens, and other potentially harmful substances.
Depending on what's in your child's personal care products, there's a potential for toxic overload. This means that if your child uses only one product with its chemical content, your body's immune system will be capable of filtering out the toxins. But, if you continually bombard your child's vulnerable body with more and more chemicals, you may be overworking it!
Perfumes, artificial dyes, BHT along with other harsh preservatives, strong detergents and salicylates are some of the other potentially harmful ingredients. The Feingold Association is a non-profit organization started by a pediatrician dedicated to helping expose how ingredients in foods and personal care products can trigger eczema, hives, asthma, headaches, dyslexia, irritability, infections, autism, PDD, ADHD and ADD.
Most people don't realize just because a product has a label indicating it's a baby product, it doesn't mean it is safe. Toothpaste is one of the most deceiving. Many popular children's toothpaste contain glitter, bright colors and taste like bubble gum. Although there is a warning on all toothpaste for the active ingredient fluoride, perhaps the warning should be for the inactive ingredients as well.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common inactive ingredient in toothpaste as well as shampoos, skin care and bubble baths. It is a surfactant that forms lather to the formulas. Besides finding it in your child's toothpaste, you may be surprised to learn it is a common industrial detergent used to clean oil off car engines. It's true. You could use your child's toothpaste to clean your car engine. Studies report of allergies and outbreak of canker sores with this ingredient.
Artificial sweeteners are another common ingredient in toothpaste for children. It's amazing that as a culture we have become so addicted to sweets, we can't even motivate our children to brush unless we add artificial sweeteners to them. Saccharin is the most often used which is banned in many countries. It used to be banned by the FDA, but is now accepted as safe.
Natural ingredients can be toxic too Synthetic ingredients are not the only ones that contain toxic ingredients. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported three cases in which young boys aged 4-7 began to grow breasts after using skin care products containing lavender oil and tea tree oil.
The study concluded the oils appear to be endocrine disruptors. The body's growth hormone, maturation of sex organs and metabolism are some of the functions the endocrine system controls. The study concluded that more research is needed on the effect of these and other potential endocrine disrupters added to personal care products. Most consumers erroneously think herbs are innocuous since they are "natural".
What we don't consider often is that pharmaceutical drugs are originally founded on herbs and plants. Extracts and essential oils are the most potent with the potential of side effects. Teen agers are also subject to toxic ingredients since they are heavily marketed to by cosmetic companies.
Dr. Flora Stay is the founder of Cleure (fusion of Clean & Pure), the trusted company for chemically safe personal care and cosmetic products, especially if you have sensitive skin. For a limited time you can receive a FREE e-book "Product Labels, A Cautionary Tale" to help you recognize how to avoid allergies and sensitivities by understanding ingredients.