Study Shows Infants Exposed to Reproductive
Toxins from Shampoo, Lotion, and Powder
WASHINGTON – Environmental Working Group (EWG) Vice President
for Research Jane Houlihan issued the following statement in
response to a study appearing today in the journal Pediatrics
showing for the first time that infants are exposed to potent
reproductive toxins called phthalates from everyday baby
products, including shampoo, lotion, and powder.
"This new research provides strong evidence that phthalates
in baby products end up inside babies’ bodies, where they pose
real-world risks for reproductive system damage among baby boys.
We hope these results spur companies to remove phthalates from
products sold in the U.S. Many of these same chemicals are
banned from baby products in other countries. There is no
justification for keeping them on the shelves here,” said Jane
Houlihan, Vice President for Research of Environmental Working
Unlike for food additives and drugs, cosmetic companies
aren’t required to test their products for safety before they
are sold. “This study confirms that it’s high time for Congress
to update standards for cosmetics, and require that companies
prove their products are safe for children before they go on
store shelves,” added Houlihan.
An EWG study found that personal care products expose
children to an average of 60 chemicals every day that they can
breathe in or that absorb through their skin. EWG product
testing, conducted in partnership with Health Care Without Harm
and other members of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, showed
phthalates in three-quarters of 72 name-brand products tested.
Because federal law contains no safety standard for cosmetics,
it is legal for companies to use ingredients that are
reproductive toxins like phthalates, carcinogens, and other
potentially harmful substances.
EWG publishes an online safety guide for more than 27,000
personal care products, including a wide range of baby products,
with safety information for not only phthalates but also more
than 7,000 other product ingredients.