December 4, 2012

Baby shampoo, powder & oils...are not baby friendly at all!

I just hate it when big companies need to profit off of innocent people.  My rant for today is about how so called baby products are probably more harmful than regular adult versions of some products. Ok, maybe not to that extent but I bet that most of you out there do not know that baby powder if inhaled is dangerous to the baby, it can cause severe breathing problems! As well what is baby oil and vaseline made from...PETROLEUM .... yeah the same thing you put in your car for fuel!!

So here is a brief write up about all these products. 

Baby Oil (Mineral Oil)

Mineral Oil Facts: Mineral oil is a common ingredient in many household products.
It is found in lotions, soaps, cosmetics and motor oil. Mineral oil is a clear, liquid oil with no scent and will not spoil. It is produced as a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. Mineral oil is the leftover liquid, and because it is abundant, it is very inexpensive. In fact, it is more expensive to dispose of mineral oil, than to purchase it. Mineral oil is the main ingredient in many baby care items as well. Baby oil, Vaseline (petroleum jelly), baby wash liquid soap, and baby lotions all contain mineral oil as a key ingredient. As mentioned above, manufacturers can buy it very inexpensively and it will not spoil.

The problem is that mineral oil is foreign to the human body and has many harmful effects, especially on infants.
Mineral oil acts as a thin plastic layer on the skin.
It is difficult to absorb and clogs the pores, which slows the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. Remember the skin is the body’s largest organ and plays an important role in maintaining overall health!
Once the oil is absorbed, it is broken down by the liver and passes through the intestinal tract. And once the oil is present in the intestinal tract, it will absorb all of the fat-soluble vitamins found there. It essentially robs important vitamins from the body, which the body will not be able to replace. This can eventually lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Studies have also shown forms of pneumonia caused by mineral oil decreasing lung function, known as lipoid pneumonia. Because of these dangers, the medical community has condemned the use of mineral oil taken orally or as an ingredient in medications.
Given these harmful effects, when caring for babies, it is best to use all natural products.
Many caretakers know that babies love to put their hands in their mouths. This also means that whatever is on their hands is also going in their mouth, and into their bodies. It is best not to chance your baby’s health with mineral oil and petroleum-based products.
Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)

What could be more harmless than a little shine on your rosy lips? Well, as it turns out, lots of things, because the shine in lip gloss comes from petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of oil drilling, and when you spread it on your lips, you end up eating it, which is essentially the same as drinking gasoline. Add up the amount of lip gloss the average woman uses (and consumes) over a decade, and it equals 7 pounds. The European Union has banned many petroleum jelly products, and experts are concerned they could be linked to cancer. Women with breast cancer have twice the levels of hydrocarbons (substances found in petroleum jelly) in their breasts than women who haven't had breast cancer.

Baby Shampoo
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics came out with the news two years ago that Johnson & Johnson’s iconic baby shampoo contained the formaldehyde-releasing preservative quaternium-15, as well as the chemical byproduct 1,4-dioxane. Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known carcinogens. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that “the presence of 1,4-dioxane, even as a trace contaminant, is cause for concern,” and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added formaldehyde to its list of known human carcinogens in June 2011.
That report states that while J&J has removed the formaldehyde-releasing preservative from its baby shampoo in several countries, in the United States if you want carcinogen-free baby shampoo you need to pay double the price for the company’s “Natural” brand of baby shampoo.
We heard from allies across the globe that the formulations in their countries were different than those in the United States, and these are countries like Sweden, South Africa and Japan where the chemical is also not regulated,” says Lisa Archer, national coordinator for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at Breast Cancer Fund. “That’s a double standard.”
There are also other, non-baby products in the company’s lines that are of concern, Archer notes, and additional chemicals of concern, beyond formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, in the company’s baby products (such as fragrance, which is protected by trade secret laws and could contain any number of potentially dangerous chemicals).
This is great news, and different from what we expected based on past interactions,” Archer says. “But it’s not over. We have to see how quickly they’re willing to make this shift and where.”

Update: On November 16th, Johnson & Johnson announced that it would remove quaternium-15 and other formaldehyde-releasing preservatives from all of its baby products worldwide within two years, and reduce 1,4 dioxane in all of its baby products to less than 4 parts per million (ppm).  Long term, the company indicated it will replace the chemical process, called ethoxylation, that results in 1,4 dioxane contamination. Johnson & Johnson also announced that it has removed phthalates from all of its baby products worldwide. The announcement does not cover the company’s non-baby products (e.g. products in the Neutrogena and Aveeno lines)
Baby Powder
You heard correctly. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using baby powder as do many individual pediatricians. The issue is the talc that once was used in powders but, fortunately, has been eliminated in many of these products. Talc is a mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate. The danger is that babies can easily inhale tiny particles of it that are light enough to be carried in the air. When inhaled, talc can dry an infant's mucous membranes, adversely affect the baby's breathing, and cause serious lung damage. Studies have shown that talc can lead to shortness of breath and wheezing in babies and can also lead to obstruction of the airways. Some babies have developed pneumonia and some have died as a result of respiratory failure from inhaling the powder. Cornstarch isn't ideal either, but its particles are larger and are not as easily inhaled as talc. You should also be careful not to use either of these powders around older children or adults who have asthma because of the irritation it can cause when inhaled.
You may have read about a possible link between talcum powder and cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the principal concern is whether talc miners or others who have had long-term exposure to particles of the mineral are at higher risk of lung cancer as a result of breathing them in. In addition, some studies have suggested that women who regularly use talcum powder on the genital area have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
As for a link with lung cancer, the big question is whether talc itself might be at fault or whether small amounts of asbestos that occur with some kinds of talc are the problem. Other mineral exposures may also play a role. The American Cancer Society notes that no increased risk of lung cancer has been reported with consumer use of talcum powder.
The question of ovarian cancer risk among women who use talcum powder has not been settled. Some studies have shown a small increased risk and other investigations have shown none. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, classifies the use of talc-based powders on the genital region as "possibly carcinogenic to humans." Although the additional risk, if any, of ovarian cancer would be very small, the American Cancer Society suggests that women may want to avoid or limit the use of products containing talc.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
So there you go a nut shell ... DO NOT USE THESE PRODUCTS!

Here are my suggestions for what to use

Baby Oil/ Vaseline :  Coconut oil, Olive oil, Sweet almond oil
                                no harmful effects and your baby will smell coconutty (smile!)

Baby Shampoo: Use baking soda with some natural liquid soap (like Castille soap)
                         or buy a natural soap with no SLS or other harmful ingredients.

Baby Powder: Use cornstarch 
                      or look at this great list of alternatives

Safe Natural Non-Toxic Talc Substitutes

1. arrowroot powder
2. chickpea powder
3. baking soda
4. corn flour
5. cornstarch
6. rice flour
7. oat flour
8. French green clay, finely ground
9. white clay, finely ground
10. powdered calendula blossoms
11. powdered lavender buds
12. powdered rose petals
13. powdered chamomile flowers
14. powdered neem herbs

How to make homemade natural body powder

You can use the natural talc substitute alone or in combination in place of talcum powder.

Once you have picked the powders that you want to use, mix them together in small bowl to blend well. Transfer to a resealable container. Use it like any normal body powder or baby powder.
You may also want to add a fragrance oil of your choice. For example, a few drops of lavender and neroli essential oils to rice flour base powder.
With these natural talc-free alternatives, you need not have to worry about the side effects commonly associated with talcum powder, and your family stay safe!

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