A new study concludes baby shampoos, lotions and powders could expose infants to chemicals linked to possible reproductive problems. The small study published in the journal Pediatrics says elevated levels of the chemicals were found in the urine of babies after the products were applied to them.
Chemicals called phthalates (thowl-ates) are under attack from some environmental groups. They aren't limited by the federal government, but the state of California and some countries have restricted their use. Animal studies show the chemicals can cause reproductive birth defects, but human scientific evidence is lacking.
The chief scientist for the Personal Care Products Council questions the report. He says the chemicals could have come from diapers or other sources. The government says there's "no compelling evidence" the chemicals pose a safety risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the health effects in humans are uncertain.
"Although several studies in people have explored possible associations with developmental and reproductive outcomes (semen quality, genital development in boys, shortened pregnancy, and premature breast development in young girls), more research is needed," a 2005 CDC report said.
According to the Olympian on-line:
"The researchers measured levels of several phthalates in urine from diapers. They also asked the mothers about use in the previous 24 hours of baby products including lotions, powders, diaper creams and baby wipes.
All urine samples had detectable levels of at least one phthalate, and most had levels of several more. The highest levels were linked with shampoos, lotions and powders, and were most prevalent in babies younger than 8 months."
Yikes! I am glad I am bad about putting all the creams and products on my baby. I absolutely love the scents, but am usually in a rush and don't bother. But who knows if they're really harmful. I'm sure there are strong views on both sides of this issue.