2007 Latest News
February 9, 2007
children's bath products hazardous, groups say
By Carlene Olsen, Cox News
Service/New York Times News Service
WASHINGTON — Some children's bath
products contain a suspected cancer-causing chemical in amounts
that reach or exceed recommended limits, environmental groups
Johnson and Johnson, Disney,
Kimberly-Clark, and Gerber are among the makers of 15 children's
products that contain 1,4-dioxane, David Steinman, head of the
environmental publishing company Freedom Press, said at a news
The petroleum-derived chemical is
classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a probable
human carcinogen, and the National Toxicology Program considers
it a known animal carcinogen, according to the Environmental
Working Group, which also took part in the news conference.
In 2000, the Food and Drug
Administration recommended that cosmetic companies limit the
concentration of 1,4-dioxane in products to 10 parts per
million. But the FDA does not regulate cosmetics, leaving
companies to monitor the safety of their products on a voluntary
Steinman said a study he
commissioned from the West Coast Analytical Service lab in Santa
Fe Springs, Calif., showed that Hello Kitty Bubble Bath, made by
Kid Care, contained 12.3 ppm of 1,4-dioxane. Johnson's Kids
Shampoo Watermelon Explosion, made by Johnson and Johnson,
contained the maximum recommended level of 10 ppm, he said.
In addition, two adult shampoos
tested by the lab found twice the recommended level of the
chemical, he said.
The Environmental Working Group,
meanwhile, said it had conducted a computerized assessment of
ingredients in 15,000 cosmetics and other personal care products
which shows that 1,4-dioxane may be present in 57 percent of all
Iris Grossman, director of
communications at Johnson and Johnson, said, "It's important to
stress that all our products are within the FDA limits."
The chemical is typically a
manufacturing by-product, which companies are not required to
list on labels along with ingredients, said Grossman. "And our
suppliers guarantee that (levels) are within the FDA limit," she
At the news conference, medical
experts said that bath products could be linked to other
children's health problems.
Research suggests a link between
ingredients in common bath products and early puberty
development in children, said Devra(cq) Davis, director of the
Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of
Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
Children's fast-paced growth rate
and porous skin increases their susceptibility to toxins that
can enter the bloodstream through the skin's surface, Davis
Jeanne Rizzo, executive director of
the Breast Cancer Fund, said that "an increased risk of breast
cancer is linked to toxic exposure that occurs in the most
vulnerable period of our lives.
products without harmful ingredients