Making sure your baby is healthy and happy is one of the most challenging learning experiences that all parents must go through. Learning which products work for you and your family is a complicated process that will take some trial and error; some chemicals in your everyday products might not be as safe for your baby as you’d like to think. Even though they are approved for use on human children, you still might not want to risk activating or agitating any potential allergies.
Which is exactly why we’re going to take a deeper look at some of the more harmful ingredients inside baby wipes, so you can be sure to avoid them.
It’s pretty widely accepted that you can’t just put formaldehyde into stuff that people use on or in their bodies. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) gave it the highest (i.e. worst) score for negative health impact. It is a leading cause of allergic contact dermatitis, which is a type of eczema that develops usually within a few hours of contact with the allergen (the substance that the person is allergic to).
However, none of this has stopped the use of formaldehyde-releasing preservatives – so keep an eye out for these ingredients:
- Diazolidinyl Urea
- DMDM Hydantoin
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin
- Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
- 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bronopol)
- Polyoxymethylene Urea
- 5-Bromo-5-Nitro-1,3 Dioxane
They may be hard to pronounce, but keeping an eye out for these ingredients will save you a lot of potential trouble later on down the road. Pro-tip: Baby wipes by companies like Honest do not have any formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing substances in their product. Options do exist, you just have to do your research.
Tocopheryl and Tocopheryl Acetate are compounds that are hugely beneficial for your skin, as they contain strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, they are often synthesized using hydroquinone, which is currently recognized as a carcinogen, and thus found to have evidence of carcinogenic properties. It is an allergen, skin toxicant and has been linked with other non-reproductive organs toxicity.
You will likely not see phthalates as a listed ingredient on any labels of baby wipes. However, you would likely find the words “fragrance” or “perfume” on labels, which is a mixture of hidden ingredients in baby wipes. According to the EWG, fragrance mixtures can often contain diethyl phthalate, which is associated with hormone disruption, allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and has potential effects on the reproductive system. The EWG has given it a rating of 8 on a scale of 10 – with 10 being the most harmful.
When looking for a great brand of baby wipes, it is good practice to look for varieties not containing a fragrance, as they tend to irritate sensitive skin, as well as steering clear of anything containing the suffix “-paraben” (a chemical preservative).
These aren’t the only hidden ingredients in baby wipes, but they are among the most harmful. If you do you due diligence and research, you can steer clear of these chemicals and have a happy, healthy baby with a happy, healthy bottom.
Parabens, chemicals widely used as a preservative in cosmetics, food products and pharmaceuticals has been found in tissue samples from 40 women with breast cancer.
A number of studies since 1998 have raised concerns about the potential role of parabens in breast cancer as they possess oestrogenic properties.
Oestrogen is known to play a central role in the development, growth and progression of breast cancer.
Parabens are a chemical compound found in everyday toiletry products including moisturizers, make-up, shaving foam, tanning lotions and toothpaste.
The chemicals are also found in numerous brands of underarm deodorant. However, a causal link has never been found between them and breast cancer.
Parabens are also present in processed meats such as sausages, pies and pastries along with other savory snacks.
The research team led by Dr. Philippa Darbre from the University of Reading in UK studied tissue samples from 40 women undergoing mastectomies between 2005 and 2008 for first primary breast cancer in England.
In total, 160 samples were collected, 4 from each woman. They found 99% of the tissue samples contained at least one paraben and 60% of the samples had five.
The research team found women who didn’t use underarm deodorants still had measurable parabens in their tissue, suggesting they must enter the breast from other sources.
Parabens are a chemical compound found in everyday toiletry products including moisturizers, make-up, shaving foam, tanning lotions and toothpaste
Co-author Lester Barr from the University Hospital of South Manchester, UK, said: “Our study appears to confirm the view that there is no simple cause and effect relationship between parabens in underarm products and breast cancer.
“The intriguing discovery that parabens are present even in women who have never used underarm products raises the question: where have these chemicals come from?”
Dr. Philippa Darbre added: “The fact that parabens were detected in the majority of the breast tissue samples cannot be taken to imply that they actually caused breast cancer in the 40 women studied.
“However, the fact that parabens were present in so many of the breast tissue samples does justify further investigation.”
Responding to research, Catherine Priestley, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Breast Cancer Care said: “The debate about the link between parabens and breast cancer is not a new one, and this report serves to highlight the need for further research.
“There is currently no conclusive evidence to suggest that the use of products containing parabens is directly linked to the development of breast cancer.
“Whilst there are a number of factors that may slightly increase the risk of a person developing breast cancer, increasing age, gender (being female) and a significant family history are the three main risk factors.
“It is important that people should have access to information on this issue and about their risk factors for breast cancer so that they can make informed lifestyle choices.”