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article imagePersonal care products might be harmful to babies

By Tim Sandle     Dec 23, 2013 in Health
Lotions, shampoos and other personal care products (PCPs) could be exposing babies to harmful chemicals over a period of time, according to new research conducted in the U.S.
Substances called phthalates and parabens are used in a wide range of products, from medical devices to children’s toys, as well as PCPs. Phthalates hold in moisture; parabens are used as preservatives. Ordinarily the body breaks these chemicals down quite quickly.
However, new research suggests a link between these substances and health issues in animals and people, such as sperm damage, breast cancer and an increased risk for asthma, according to Health India.
For the study, the research team collected 170 samples of makeup, lotions, shampoos and other products, including 20 items for babies, and tested them for nine phthalates and six parabens. Both substances were found in PCPs.
In baby products, phthalate concentrations were low, but parabens were common. When the researchers calculated possible exposure levels, they estimated that the potential daily skin exposure to parabens by infants and toddlers could be as much as two to three times higher than that for adult women.
The findings have been published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The paper is titled “A Survey of Phthalates and Parabens in Personal Care Products from the United States and Its Implications for Human Exposure”.
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