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Children's Bath Products Contaminated With Formaldehyde, 1,4-Dioxane
Date:3/12/2009

Chemicals Not Listed on Product Labels Due to Weak Regulatory Standards

WASHINGTON, March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite marketing claims like "gentle" and "pure," dozens of top-selling children's bath products are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, according to product test results released today by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The chemicals were not disclosed on product labels because contaminants are exempt from labeling laws.

This study is the first to document the widespread presence of both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in children's bath products. Many products contained both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, including Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Sesame Street Bubble Bath.

Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known to cause cancer in animals and are listed as probable human carcinogens by the EPA. Formaldehyde can also trigger skin rashes in some children.

"Given the recent data showing that formaldehyde and the formaldehyde-releasing preservative, quaternium-15, are significant sensitizers and causal agents of contact dermatitis in children, it would be prudent to have these removed from children's products," said Sharon Jacob, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of California San Diego and contact dermatitis specialist at Rady Children's Hospital.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that "the presence of 1,4-dioxane, even as a trace contaminant, is cause for concern."

Contrary to industry statements, no regulatory standards limit formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane in personal care products sold in the U.S. Formaldehyde is banned from personal care products in Japan and Sweden. The EU bans 1,4-dioxane from personal care products and has recalled products found to contain the chemical.

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SOURCE Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
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