CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICAL FOUND IN CHILDREN'S BATH PRODUCTS Women's Shampoos and Body Wash also Contaminated
(HealthNewsDigest.com; April 12, 2007) - WASHINGTON - Ahidden cancer-causing petrochemical has been found indozens of children's bath products and adults' personalcare products, in some cases at levels that are morethan twice the U.S. Food and Drug Administration'slenient recommended maximum.
Laboratory tests released today revealed the presence of1,4-Dioxane in products such as Hello Kitty Bubble Bath,Huggies Baby Wash, Johnson's Baby Wash, Scooby-DooBubble Bath and Sesame Street Bubble Bath. The testsalso found the carcinogen in Clairol Herbal Essencesshampoo, Olay Complete Body Wash and many other personalcare products.
1,4-Dioxane is a petroleum-derived contaminant considereda probable human carcinogen by the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency and a clear-cut animal carcinogen bythe National Toxicology Program. It is also onCalifornia's Proposition 65 list of chemicals known orsuspected by the state to cause cancer or birth defects.Because it is a contaminant produced during manufacturing, the FDA does not require it to be listed as an ingredienton product labels.
The problem of 1,4-Dioxane contamination in personal careproducts is highlighted in a new book, "Safe Trip toEden: Ten Steps to Save the Planet Earth from the GlobalWarming Meltdown," by David Steinman. The laboratoryresults were released jointly today at the NationalPress Club by Steinman and the Campaign for SafeCosmetics, a coalition of U.S.-based health andenvironmental groups working to protect cosmeticsconsumers from toxic chemicals and hold companiesaccountable for the safety of their products. "Regrettably,1,4-Dioxane contamination is just the tip ofthe iceberg," said Jeanne Rizzo, R.N., executivedirector of the Breast Cancer Fund, a founding member ofthe Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. "Because the FDA doesnot require cosmetics products to be approved as safebefore they are sold, companies can put unlimited amounts of toxic chemicals in cosmetics." Steinman said parents should be outraged that companiesare willing to spend a significant amount of money onentertainment licensing agreements that entice childrenbut won't spend pennies to remove contaminants such as1,4-Dioxane.
"Consumers who have young children, as I do, have theright to expect the highest purity in children'sproducts," Steinman said. "I call on American consumersto say no to dangerous petrochemicals in theirchildren's cosmetic and personal care products." Contrary to what many consumers may believe, the FDA doesnot review or regulate cosmetics products or ingredientsfor safety before they are sold to the public and has nolegal authority to require safety assessments ofcosmetics.
Devra Lee Davis, professor of epidemiology and director ofthe Center for Environmental Oncology at the Universityof Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, said that the usualregulatory approach of assessing risk one chemical at atime does not account for the combined effects of verylow levels of hidden contaminants in personal careproducts and from other sources. "We must lower exposures tocontrollable agents that we know or suspectcause cancer," she said.
The FDA has been measuring 1,4-Dioxane levels since 1979,but because the agency has little authority orenforcement capacity over the cosmetics industry, it hasworked with manufacturers to reduce levels on avoluntary basis only. In 2000, the FDA recommended thatcosmetic products should not contain 1,4-Dioxane atconcentrations greater than 10 ppm (parts per million); yetsome 15 percent of products tested exceeded even theselenient guidelines. This limit, however, also does nottake into account that babies exposed to 1,4-Dioxanefrom baby shampoo may be exposed at the same time to1,4-Dioxane from bubble bath, body wash and many otherproducts.
More than two dozen products were tested at Steinman'srequest by West Coast Analytical Service, an independenttesting laboratory specializing in trace chemicalanalysis. Among the products tested: Product and 1,4-Dioxane concentration:
Baby & Children's Consumer Products
Disney Clean as Can Bee Hair & Body Wash (Water JelTechnologies): 8.8 ppm
Disney Pixar Cars Piston Cup Bubble Bath (MZB PersonalCare): 2.2 ppm
Gerber Grins & Giggles Gentle & Mild Aloe Vera Baby Shampoo:8.4 ppm
Hello Kitty Bubble Bath (Kid Care): 12 ppm*
Huggies Baby Wash Shea Butter: 4.0 ppm
Huggies Natural Care Baby Wash Extra Gentle and Tear Free:4.2 ppm
Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash (Johnson & Johnson): 5.3 ppmto 6.1 ppm
Johnson's Kids Tigger Bath Bubbles (Johnson & Johnson):5.6 ppm to 7.9 ppm
Johnson's Kids Shampoo Watermelon Explosion (Johnson &Johnson): 10 ppm*
Lil' Bratz Mild Bubble Bath (Kid Care): 3.7 ppm
L'Oreal Kids Orange Mango Smoothie Shampoo: 2.0 ppm
Mr. Bubble Bubble Bath Gentle Formula with Aloe: 1.5 ppm
Rite-Aid Tearless Baby Shampoo: 4.3 ppm
Scooby-Doo Mild Bubble Bath (Kid Care): 3.0 ppm
Sesame Street Wet Wild Watermelon Bubble Bath (The VillageCompany): 7.4 ppm
Adult Consumer ProductsClairol Herbal Essences Rainforest Flowers Shampoo: 23 ppm*
Olay Complete Body Wash with Vitamins (normal skin): 23 ppm*
Suave Naturals Passion Flower: 2.0 ppm
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