The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) has put a scare in parents that there are toxins in our babies shampoo which to any parent, if true, would be very alarming.
The truth is, that there are trace amounts of formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing compounds added to some baby shampoos to prevent bacterial contamination – but you need to dig a little deeper to get the true facts.
According to Dr. Schwarcz, Director of Mcgill University’s office of Science and Society, “Formaldehyde is a likely carcinogen, but that categorization was made on the basis of inhaling the chemical in significant amounts under occupational exposure. Any suggestion that formaldehyde in shampoo presents a cancer risk is unfounded. Actually, mommy’s breath may be a greater risk. Formaldehyde is a product of human metabolism and breath can contain concentrations of formaldehyde at 0.4 mg per cubic meter.”
Furthermore, more babies would react to a poorly preserved product than they would to trace amounts of formaldehyde.
Manufacturers are often coming up with alternative solutions, but if you take a closer look at each and every one of them, I am sure there would be possible risks with those as well.
If you want to avoid your baby being exposed to formaldehyde altogether, then Dr. Schwarcz says that you will have to get rid of particleboard, permanent-press fabrics, varnishes, paints, carpeting, curtains, nail polish, many types of insulation and paper products, fireplaces, gas cookers, driving cars and of course, smoking. Oh, and guess what, formaldehyde occurs naturally in virtually all foods, even an ‘apple’.
There are by far more things to worry about when bathing your child, 40,000 emergency department visits by children are because of slippery bathtubs, showers and bathroom floors that result in falls, drowning, injuries, lacerations and even deaths. With that being said, I think it would be far more important to have a good bath mat and proper parental supervision to keep our children safe in the tub.