What’s In My Baby Shampoo? How to Shop Safe for Baby
GUEST POST BY FARAH-LEE HOENDERS.
Contrary to labels such as ‘gentle’ and ‘pure’, many top-selling baby bath products are contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals, according to independent lab tests conducted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Babies are more susceptible to toxins because their delicate skin absorbs chemicals faster than adults. While a one-off exposure to a questionable product is not likely to cause long-term damage, the reality is that babies are exposed to numerous products every day, over many years. These small exposures unfortunately add up and can contribute to illness later on, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
This includes in-utero as well as after birth. Recent studies have linked exposures to chemical pollutants, like metals and pesticides during pregnancy, as well as anti-depressants taken during first semester, to autism. While the evidence is not yet conclusive and further studies need to be undertaken, it’s enough to set off warning bells.
How to Read Labels: When ‘Organic’ Isn’t So Natural After All
Not all products marketed as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ are indeed safe. There are a number of factors to consider when determining how ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ a product really is:
• Is there organic certification on the product?
• How many organic ingredients are included? A brand can proclaim it’s organic by simply including one organic ingredient alongside a host of other chemical nasties.
• Where on the label are the organic ingredients found? Products, as required by law, are labelled with ingredients in descending order of their quantity. The top third usually contains 90-95% of the products, the middle third usually 5-8% and the bottom third 1-3%. If the organic ingredients are at the bottom of the list, it may not be as suitable as you think.
• What are the other ingredients? If they are questionable chemicals, than this will certainly outweigh any benefits from the organic component.
Resources & Tips for Safer Shopping
• Additive free foods and certified organic reduces exposure to toxins. If expense is an issue, prioritise with the worst affected pesticide foods as revealed in the EWG’s Dirty Dozen report. Homemade and wholesome baby food is always the best.
• The best things in life are free. Cleaning baby for bath and change time with plain old water is recommended by most midwives today.
• Handmade household cleaners based on vinegar and baking soda are great ways to reduce expenditure and ensure baby isn’t sniffing or touching any nasty chemicals in the house.
Author bio: Farah-Lee Hoenders is a passionate mum of two who is dedicated to educating families about safer choices. She runs KindtoKidz, an online baby gifts and toy store with a natural focus.
Positive affirmation for the day: I am overflowing with love and gratitude for all of the blessings in my life.
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