Monday, February 4, 2008

New Study Out on Phthalate Exposure

The February issue of Pediatrics contains a study that suggests baby lotion, baby powder, and baby shampoo may be exposing babies to potentially harmful chemicals called phthalates. Since U.S. manufacturers are not required to list phthalate contents on products' package label it is extremely difficult for parents to know what they are buying.

"At this time, we do not know what the potential long-term health effects might be, but there is a large body of animal studies to suggest developmental and reproductive toxicity (from phthalates) and a few human studies with changes in health outcomes as well," Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, one of the researchers, is quoted in Reuters Health.

Phthalates are controversial because high doses of many phthalates have shown adverse affects in rodent studies, such as damage to the liver, the kidneys, and the lungs. Recent study findings also include a joint Swedish-Danish research team found a very strong link between allergies in children and the phthalates in 2004.

The state of California is already taking steps against phthalate exposure. Any product made for young children that contains more than 0.01% of phthalates cannot be made, sold or distributed in California beginning in 2009.

Rest assured that there are companies out there trying to make the safest, most natural products they can for babies. Burt's Bees states on their website that their fragrances and products, "not have harmful ingredients, like phthalates". Check out some of Burt's Bee's Baby products here.

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