Dangerous Chemicals In Children's Bath Products


The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics recently commissioned a report to determine which children’s bath products were contaminated with cancer causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.

The report’s findings are outlined in this Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ article. A list of the products tested can be found here.

You aren’t likely to see the chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane listed on the labels of baby bath products, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

More than half of children’s bath soaps, shampoos, lotions, and other personal care products tested by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) were found to contain 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde.

Both of the chemicals are considered probable carcinogens by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Because they are not intentionally added by manufacturers, there is no requirement that product labels list the chemicals when they are present.

There are also no federal restrictions on allowable levels of the chemicals in body care products, but several other countries do not allow the chemicals at ANY level!

The European Union has banned 1,4-dioxane from cosmetic products. And formaldehyde is not allowed in cosmetics sold in Japan and Sweden.

“Manufacturers could easily remove these toxic byproducts, but they are not required to do so under federal cosmetics safety standards,” Sonya Lunder, MPH, of CSC and the Environmental Working Group told WebMD.

Sonya Lunder says there is no simple way for parents to tell if the baby bath products they are purchasing contain the chemical byproducts. In an earlier test, CSC found that many products labeled “natural” or “organic” contained 1,4-dioxane.

“The main thing parents can do is use fewer body care products on their children or look for those products with fewer ingredients,” she said. “Labels that say ‘gentle’ or ‘pure’ or even ‘organic’ don’t really tell you much.”

Astonishingly, 61% of the 48 baby and child personal care products tested had both chemicals!

According to the report:

Seventeen out of 28 products tested (61%) were found to contain both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.
Twenty-three out of 28 products (82%) contained formaldehyde, and 32 of 48 products (67%) contained 1,4-dioxane.
*Baby Magic “Soft Baby Scent” Lotion contained the highest levels of formaldehyde found in the testing. Two samples of the lotion contained 570 and 610 parts per million (ppm) of the chemical. The report noted that a formaldehyde level above 500 ppm would require a warning label in Europe.

*Several samples of “American Girl” shower products, sold by Bath & Body Works, contained the highest levels of 1,4-dioxane found in the test.

*Best-selling products found to contain both chemical contaminants included Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Sesame Street Bubble Bath, Grins & Giggles Milk & Honey Baby Wash and Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wash.

Check out this fantastic website for detailed information on safe, non-toxic products for your children and yourself! It is fascinating to learn about all the safer alternatives that are available!

After some research, it seems that this company comes out on top as the absolute least toxic! Their website had an amazing tidbit that I feel absolutely terrible for not knowing already…Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo is not tear-free, it has a numbing agent so babies do not feel the irritation. Yuck!


  1. says

    It is well worth knowing information such as this so as consumers we can make better buying choices. Why would we want to unknowingly poison ourselves and our kids? We need to be more educated about toxic beauty products!

  2. Nicole says

    My comment is awaiting moderation because I speak the truth? Wake up people! That’s what happens in an abortion. Do your research.

  3. Michelle says

    Yes, they have control over their own bodies, but not when I say they don’t!!!

    Even when they’re 10-year-old incest victims — which one is the “real” baby now?

    The Anti-Choice Whacko Golden Rule: The Sanctity of Life From Conception Until Birth

  4. Nicole says

    #4- yes- a woman has control and a choice over her OWN body- but it shouldn’t be over the baby’s body too- dictating if it should be allowed to live. That’s called trying to be God.

  5. LOLA says

    celeste, yes, we have the control over our futures and bodies, and appearantly over the future and bodies of our unborn children, we can choose if they will be born or die 🙁 i know it may a woman’s choice, but it still makes me really sad that poor innocent lives are ended daily. If more people used protection and were more responsible not so many babies would have to be killed. Cause i’m sure 90% of those “unwated” pregnancies did not happen cause the condom broke, i don’t buy that excuse! it happened cause the adults didn’t make the right choice to use something! I believe in prevention!!!!! I also understand there are instances where a woman may feel it’s the only way, but most abortions happen cause they were just plain irresponsible!

  6. Celeste says

    This is old news! I’ve been harping on about this for years but nobody seems to think it is important. It is a very serious topic! I purchase all my bath products and cosmetics from a reputable source that guarantees no chemicals and harmful additives. I’m certainly glad that I have access to healthy products that won’t harm me, my family or the environment. Every little bit helps, if we each do our part.

    #1 As far as abortion is concerned (since you brought it up) I’m very grateful to be given living in a country where women have choices to control their future and their own bodies.

  7. Brodie says

    Apparently the story about the numbing agent in the shampoo is an urban legend – it’s been denied by J&J, and I can’t find any evidence supporting the inclusion of a numbing agent… But if you get more information, please post it!

  8. LOLA says

    …or how they get abused by their own family members!~ we all grew up using regular soaps, and we’re all ok

  9. Nicole says

    OMG- people are so paranoid. I guarantee that everything out there has some type of harmful chemical in it. Let’s worry about bigger things in life like how many unborn babies are killed at the hands of abortionists.

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