ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
CANCER
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
EYE CARE, VISION
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
FITNESS
Walking Golf Course Affects Swing, Performance
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
The Unmedicated Mind
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Soy May Not Lead to Denser Breasts
Add your Article

Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants

THURSDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many baby and child-care products contain the chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, both of which have been linked to cancer and various skin conditions, a new report contends.

But the chemicals aren't listed on the labels of bubble bath, shampoo and other common products, according to the report from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic Use.

"Companies can obviously do better, and we need to demand that they do better," said Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic Use and co-author of the report, released Thursday. "Many companies are already making great products that don't have any of these chemicals [and] many companies in the natural products industry have reformulated to get rid of that problem. We also know many companies are using preservatives that don't use formaldehyde."

According to the authors, the report, called No More Toxic Tub, is the first to document contamination of children's products with these chemicals. The Environmental Working Group was involved in the analyses.

Both formaldehyde and dioxane are considered "contaminants," Malkan said.

A contaminant "is a chemical that is not intentionally added to the product but is a byproduct," she said. "Those are all exempt from labeling laws ... Companies don't even have to know themselves."

Dioxane is a byproduct of chemical processing and formaldehyde is released from some of the chemicals that are used as preservatives, Malkan said.

John Bailey is chief scientist for the Personal Care Products Council, a national trade association for the cosmetic and personal care products industry. Responding to the report, he said, "These are issues that have been around for many, many years, so it's not new news. The thing that impressed me was the low levels of dioxane that were found in these products, which indicates to me that the industry is doing its job in keeping this potential contaminant down to a low level."

Bailey also said there were wasn't enough information in the report to gauge how accurate the determinations of formaldehyde levels were.

Malkan and her co-authors tested 48 bubble baths, shampoos and other baby and children's products for dioxane and 28 of those products for formaldehyde. The testing was done by an independent laboratory, Analytical Sciences in Petulama, Calif.

Among their findings:

* Almost two-thirds of the 28 products contained both chemicals, including Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wash.
* Eighty-two percent of products tested contained formaldehyde; the highest levels were found in Baby Magic Baby Lotion.
* American Girl shower products had the highest levels of dioxane among products tested.

"The good news is that there are great products without any of these chemicals," Malkan said. "The challenge is you have to do some research to find them. It's not a simple matter of looking at the label."

According to Malkan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture "organic seal" indicates that none of these chemicals are present.

"The best advice for consumers is that simple is better, products with fewer ingredients overall," she said. "There are things consumers can do to make better choices at the store but we also need to change regulations and require companies to list all ingredients in the products and to make the safest products they can, especially products for babies."

Harmful chemicals and contaminants in children's products is a subject of continuing controversy. Earlier this week, it was announced that baby bottles made with the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) will no longer be sold in the United States by the six largest manufacturers of the products.

BPA, which is found in a wide range of products, mimics the hormone estrogen and may disrupt the body's endocrine system. The chemical poses a particular threat to fetuses, infants and children because it can interfere with cell function when their bodies are still developing, public health experts say. The chemical has been linked with diabetes, heart disease, cancer and developmental delays in children.

-Amanda Gardner

More information

Get more information on what's in a product, or information on products containing no chemicals at all, at the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database.



SOURCES: Stacy Malkan, co-founder and spokeswoman, Campaign for Safe Cosmetic Use; John Bailey, Ph.D., chief scientist, Personal Care Products Council, Washington, D.C.; March 12, 2009, No More Toxic Tub

Last Updated: March 13, 2009

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