Undoubtedly, your most prized possession, no matter what age!
You can’t get it right all the time, but I know that if I get it right 80% of the time, I am satisfied that I am doing the best for my children.
We all care about our children, and we naturally want to best for them. It shocks me that so many baby products out there contain harmful toxins and KNOWN carcinogens (substances and exposures that can lead to cancer due to changes in the calls DNA)
Although carcinogens do not necessarily CAUSE cancer, from what I have learnt, prolonged use of products containing toxins and synthetic ingredients can certainly be a factor.
The Wikipedia explanation for toxin:
** A toxin (from Ancient Greek: τοξικόν toxikon) is a poisonous substance produced within living cells or organisms; synthetic toxicants created by artificial processes are thus excluded.
**I am by no means an expert, but I am sharing this with you because I think it is important to be aware of these factors affecting our health and the health of our loved ones.
**You may have your own opinions and perhaps you have done your own research and that is great, so please share. There is so much information out there and lots of it is conflicting. I invite you to look into these areas as I bring these issues to the surface.
What I look out for…
Fragrances are generally made of coal- and petroleum-derived synthetic chemicals.
They can cause respiratory, neurological, skin, and eye damage. There is evidence that exposure to fragrance as a child may lead to asthma. (See this post for more information). Just think of all the baby products that have a fragrance!
**Opt for fragrance free products
Arsenic is a known carcinogen that has been linked particularly to skin, bladder, kidney, and lung cancers. Organic and inorganic arsenic are found in apple and grape juice as well as in rice and rice products. (There are small amounts in some foods)
**Consume apple and grape juice in small amounts (or avoided).
**Limit the amount of infant rice cereal to no more than one serving a day
**Don’t give rice drinks (like rice milk) to children under age 5 and avoid rice flour rice syrup.
Baby oil is essentially made of mineral oil mixed with fragrance (remember, this can cause respiratory problems). Mineral oil is a bulking agent that manufactures use because it is a cheap byproduct of petroleum.
Because it coats the skin, the skin is unable to rid itself of harmful toxins. So where do the toxins stay? In the blood stream. Think about the skin for a moment, it is the bodies largest organ.
**Use products with natural oils.
Parabens are neurotoxins and are linked to reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption, and skin irritation. They can be found in soaps, body washes, shampoos, and moisturisers.
**Use products that are paraben free, and check the labels.
It is a known lung irritant and may also be carcinogenic.
“A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer“. For this reason (along with many others) it has been banned in cosmetics in both Sweden and Japan!
Diazolidinyl urea (Germall II)
Imidazolidinyl urea (Germall 115)
These (like parabens) are used as preservatives but slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer. Can you believe these things can be found in baby products?
It is a skin irritant that can cause various skin problems and allergy-like reactions including watery, burning eyes and throats, stuffy noses, and skin rashes. Allergic skin rashes can occur as a result of contact with products that contain formaldehyde, which can also cause respiratory symptoms, headache, fatigue, and nausea.
Exposure to mercury impairs neurological development, and recent research has linked high levels of mercury to ADHD. It can be found in various types of fish.
**Don’t eat large fish such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tilefish and store bought canned TUNA.
**Opt for wild alaskan salmon, striped sea bass, haddock or whitefish.
**Broil or bake fish to allow the fats to drain from it (this is where a lot of the chemicals are stored)
BPA’s (Bisphenol A) and Phthalates
BPA and phthalates are additives in plastics that can leach into foods and drinks that we consume; BPA creates a rigid plastic and phthalates make plastic more flexible. That makes me think about all the things we use on an everyday basis that are made from plastic. Although shopping receipts are not plastic, BPA can be found on them!! Thankfully, baby bottles tend to be BPA free these days!
BPA is linked to early puberty in girls and phthalates are linked to low testosterone and to male reproductive problems. Some phthalates have been banned in toys for young children but are still used in soft plastics (raincoats, backpacks, shower curtains, blow-up toys) and soaps, lotions and perfumes.
**Avoid buying food unless stored in containers marked “BPA-free”
**Don’t microwave food in plastic containers because they can release BPA into food.
**Avoid products for children with “fragrance” listed in the ingredients, which may indicate presence of phthalates.
Too much fluoride can cause health problems, including neurotoxicity.
Fluoride is found in toothpaste, mouthwash and water that comes through the tap (even bottled water) so if children are drinking water on a regular basis, they could be consuming too much fluoride.
Dr Mercola explains how using the wrong water filter can be detrimental to your health. He does not recommend using bottled water either because of the effect it has on the environment (and some bottled water is just tap water anyway!) If you buy a a high-quality reverse osmosis (RO) filter, then the good minerals are also taken from the water and need to be added back in (it gets very confusing!) Why can’t they just leave our tap water alone?!?
**Check fluoride levels to identify how much fluoride is in your tap water (you can find out via your water supplier).
**Avoid using fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash (make sure small children spit out properly). What I like to do is to alternate it with a fluoride toothpaste. That way, my teeth are still getting some protection from cavities.
Carcinogenic pesticides have been shown in some studies to have negative effects on neurobehavioral development. Pesticides are sprayed on grown foods to kill insects and weeds. When these foods are consumed, so are the pesticides. Washing alone doesn’t always get rid of them. Some can even be found in baby foods.
**Be mindful about where your chill plays. Public lawns and gardens are often sprayed with pesticides.
**If possible, buy organic foods (or have a go at growing some of your own if you don’t already) ‘The dirty dozen’ and ‘clean fifteen’ help you to understand which foods have the most pesticides and should ideally be bought organic if possible and the clean fifteen are foods that have the least pesticides. You can also use free apps.
This basically opens the pores and harmful toxins can quickly be absorbed into the blood stream. Propylene glycol is used in wiper fluid and to de-ice airplanes, and yet it is often found in baby wipes, which is not safe.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
Polypropylene glycol (PPG)
1,4-dioxane and ethylated surfactants
1,4-dioxane is a contaminant that is used primarily as a solvent for chemical processing. So why is it found in our skincare?
If you see any ingredients that contain the letters eth, then that is an indicator of the presence of 1,4-dioxane. Most baby soaps contain 1,4-dioxane.
Sodium laureth sulfate
Triclosan is a carcinogenic that is found in products labeled as ‘antibacterial’. It is harmful to the environment!! There are approximately 1,600 products for sale on Canadian markets that contain these antibacterial chemicals, and they’re not even that effective.
**Use other antibacterial products or natural cleaning products such as baking soda, borax, lemon, salt and white vinegar.
Read the book ‘The humble art of zen-cleansin’ by Michael De Jong to learn more.
7 Harmful Chemicals and Toxins to Avoid when buying baby products
10 Synthetic Ingredients to Avoid in cosmetics