As parents we try to give our children the best and spend money on the most expensive products for them, however, our ignorance of the ingredients that go into making these products may be doing our children more harm than good.
According to scientists (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es4042034) it is possible that there are potentially harmful substances lurking in the everyday products we use on our children and putting their lives at risk.Also, as a baby’s skin is more sensitive and thinner that an adult’s they have an increased risk of absorbing these harmful substances. The easiest way to avoid any unwanted side effects on our children is for parents to be vigilant and carefully read the list of ingredients found in the products they use.
One ingredient that should stick out to all parents is alcohol. It can dry your baby’s delicate skin, irritate it or even cause an allergic reaction. Certain types of alcohols can also act as penetration enhancers where they transport molecules that would normally remain on the surface of the skin into the body where they can cause irritation.
Another common culpritfound on those list of ingredients that parents should be aware of is a group of chemical compounds called Parabens. They are a widely used low cost preservative in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. This ubiquitous chemical that companies use to lengthen the shelf life of a product and increase their profits could be harming your children according to a study published in the American Chemical Society Journal Environmental Science & Technology (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es4042034).Researchers also pointed out that the wide use of Parabens can also extend to children’s toys.
Parabens have been found in breast tumors and may have a link to breast cancer because of their ability to mimic the hormone estrogen (which is associated with certain types of breast cancer). According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18484575) there is also a potential connection between the use of personal care products with Parabens on the skin and skin cancer.
Certain forms of the potentially harmful compound have already been banned in Denmark, however, on the whole it continues to be used in many products around the world despite mounting evidence to its ill-effects. The cost of finding an alternative and the negative impact changing preservatives will have on the bottom line continue to hinder progress on the matter.
Taking note of this, a growing number of responsible brands such as Baby Bee, Cetaphil, Chicco, Live Clean, etc.have made significant steps towards safeguarding our children by making sure that their products are free of Parabens and other harmful chemicals.
So let’s all be more cautious when buying baby care products and check the labels for any such harmful ingredients to ensure a healthier future for our children.