Baby Products Expose Infants to Chemicals

Little ones absorb dangerous phthalates from lotions, powders, shampoos
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2008 4:29 PM CST
Dan Jacobson, of Environment California, gestures to a pair of baby items containing chemicals that some scientists say are hazardous to children, Friday, May 4, 2007, in Sacramento, Calif. Legislation...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Common baby products may be exposing infants to dangerous chemicals called phthalates, a new study shows. The presence of the substances in infants' urine was linked with the use of baby lotions, powder, and shampoo. Experts don't know the long-term health consequences, but "there is a large body of animal studies to suggest developmental and reproductive toxicity" from phthalates, a doctor tells Reuters.

"We found that reported use of baby lotion, baby shampoo, and baby powder was associated with increased concentrations" of the chemicals, says the doctor, who worked on the study. The US government doesn't require products including phthalates to carry markings on their packages, so avoiding the chemicals can be difficult.