Baby Products: Now With Formaldehyde!

More than half of the baby products recently tested by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics were found to contain trace levels of formaldehyde and dioxane. Though the study didn’t accuse Johnson & Johnson of dumping barrels of the potential carcinogens directly into their baby products, the dangerous chemicals can form during the manufacturing process as other ingredients break down. The full list of 48 tested baby shampoos, lotions, soaps, and wipes—including some well-known products you probably have on your shelf—inside.

The government hasn’t banned the use of dioxane in baby products or cosmetics, even though they can seep through lotions into the skin. The FDA believes that trace amounts of carcinogens are acceptable, and might even toughen up American babies to survive any financial downturn.

“The levels we’ve found are relatively low, and the industry often says there’s just a little bit of carcinogen in my product,” Malkan said. “The problem is, we’re finding a little bit of carcinogen in many products. Many of these products are used every day, so we’ve got repeated and frequent exposure to these low levels of chemicals. They’re not the safest and purest products, and parents ought to know that.”

In addition, government studies have not examined the effect of chemical exposure on the particular vulnerabilities of infants and children, whose bodies are still developing, the advocates said.

So which products contain the probable carcinogens? Here’s the full list:

Product Name and Company 1,4-dioxane (in parts per million) Formaldehyde (in parts per million)
Lotions
American Girl Hopes and Dreams Shimmer Body Lotion (Bath & Body Works) ND* 310
Baby Magic “Soft Baby Scent” Baby Lotion (Ascendia Brands, Inc) ND* 570
Baby Magic “Soft Baby Scent” Baby Lotion (Ascendia Brands, Inc) 0.92 610
Baby Magic “Soft Baby Scent” Baby Lotion (Ascendia Brands, Inc) ND* 330
Johnson’s Bedtime Lotion Natural Calm Essences (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Mustela Baby Body Lotion (Laboratories Expanscience) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Tinker Bell Body Lotion (Goldie LLC) ND* 220
Shampoos
CVS Baby Shampoo (CVS/Pharmacy) 0.92 350
Johnson’s Baby Shampoo (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) ND* 200
Johnson’s Baby Shampoo (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 1.1 210
L’Oreal Kids Extra Gentle 2-in-1 Fast Dry Shampoo – Burst of Cool Melon (L’Oreal USA) 0.95 260
Suave Kids 2-in-1 Shampoo – Wild Watermelon (Unilever) 0.69 ND*
Liquid Shower Soaps
American Girl Hopes and Dreams Glistening Shower and Bath Wash (Bath & Body Works) 14 Not tested for this chemical
American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gel – Apple Blossom (Bath & Body Works) 6.3 210
American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gel – Apple Blossom (Bath & Body Works) 5.7 220
American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gel – Apple Blossom (Bath & Body Works) 18 150
American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gel – Sunny Orange (Bath & Body Works) 35 ND*
Bath Washes
Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 1.4 Not tested for this chemical
Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 1.7 Not tested for this chemical
Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 4.6 Not tested for this chemical
CVS Kids Body Wash – Blueberry Blast (CVS/Pharmacy) 0.75 54
Equate Tearless Baby Wash (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.) 0.63 290
Gentle Naturals Eczema Baby Wash (Del Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) 6.4 Not tested for this chemical
Grins & Giggles Milk & Honey Baby Wash (Gerber Products Company) 2.8 400
Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wash (Kimberly-Clark) 3.2 410
Johnson’s Moisture Care Baby Wash (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 3.9 Not tested for this chemical
Johnson’s Oatmeal Baby Wash – Vanilla (Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies) 4.2 Not tested for this chemical
Mustela Baby Shampoo (Laboratories Expanscience) 2.8 Not tested for this chemical
Mustela Dermo-Cleansing Gel for Hair and Body Newborn/Baby (Laboratories Expanscience) 3.9 Not tested for this chemical
Night-time Bath Baby Wash (Target Corporation) 3.6 Not tested for this chemical
Bubble Baths
Barbie Berry Sweet Bubble Bath (Water-Jel Technologies) 0.65 440
Dora the Explorer Bubble Bath (MZB Personal Care) 1.5 130
Hot Wheels Berry Blast Bubble Bath (Water-Jel Technologies) 2.8 100
Mustela Multi-Sensory Bubble Bath (Laboratories Expanscience) 1.7 ND*
Sesame Street Bubble Bath – Orange Mango Tango (The Village Company) 2.8 340
Tinker Bell Scented Bubble Bath (Goldie LLC) 11 420
Baby Wipes
Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wipes (Kimberly-Clark) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Huggies Soft Skin – Shea Butter (Kimberly-Clark Global Sales Inc) ND* 100
Kirkland Signature Premium Unscented Baby Wipes (Costco Wholesale Corporation) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Pampers Baby Fresh (Procter & Gamble) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Pampers Calming – Lavender (Procter & Gamble) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Hair Relaxers
Dark & Lovely Kids Beautiful Beginnings No-Mistake Nourishing No-Lye Creme Relaxer, Normal to Course Hair (SoftSheen-Carson, owned by L’Oreal USA) ND* Not tested for this chemical
Dark & Lovely Kids Beautiful Beginnings No-Mistake Nourishing No-Lye Children’s Relaxer System, Fine Hair Types (SoftSheen-Carson, owned by L’Oreal USA) ND* ND*
Soft & Beautiful Just for Me! No-Lye Conditioning Creme Relaxer, Children’s Super (Alberto-Culver Company) 0.27 ND*
Hand Soaps
Pampers Kandoo Foaming Handsoap – Magic Melon (Procter & Gamble) 0.49 310
Sun Blocks
Banana Boat Kids UVA & UVB Sunblock Lotion SPF 30 (Sun Pharmaceuticals Corp.) ND* Not tested for this chemical
No-Ad Sun Pals SPF 45 UVA/UVB Sun Protection (Solar Cosmetics Labs Inc.) 0.46 Not tested for this chemical
Toothpastes
Colgate Kids 2-in-1 Toothpaste and Mouthwash – Strawberry (Colgate-Palmolive Company) ND* Not tested for this chemical
* Not detectable.

Probable Carcinogens Found in Baby Toiletries [The Washington Post]
Probable Carcinogens Found in Baby Toiletries [The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics]
(Photo: bbaunach)