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How Toxic Are Your Baby Products?

By Danielle |

Do you know what is least toxic in this picture?

I was never really too skeptical about what baby products I used on the kids skin.  You would find the typical store brand name shampoo, or lotion in my bathroom, or their nurseries.  Then I came across a blog post about the toxic ingredients in some of the most popular products on the shelves today.

I was shocked, not only as a consumer, but as a mother too… How could people not know better?  Why wasn’t this information available for the general public, and the new parents all over the world blindly following what their friends and family buy for them at baby showers.

I mean, it is for sale on the shelves… it must be safe right?  Not so much!
And that goes for a lot of products we use with our children today too!

I wasn’t aware of an actual website that documents the level of toxicity in the products, and actually publishes the results for parents, like all of us to read, and become educated.   Because when it comes to the health and well being of our children, safety always comes first.

The Environmental Working Group, or EWG has a website dedicated to testing, and listing the toxicity levels of the vast majority of products, I don’t think there was one I looked up that wasn’t listed.  It is called the Skin Deep Cosemetics Database.

I started looking through some of the most registered for, and used baby products, and that is what brought me to my post today. I wanted to help parents just like me make the best choice when it comes to lotions, shampoos, and anything else you are going to put on the skin of your children.

Check out some of the most popular products you very well may be using on your little one:

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How Toxic Are Your Baby Products?

1- How to keep score

Score Key to help you read and understand the score of each product.

Photo credit: Environmental Working Group stock photographs.

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About Danielle



Danielle Elwood is a straight-shooting Florida based mom of three and emerging indie author. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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17 thoughts on “How Toxic Are Your Baby Products?

  1. Larita says:

    Yay for someone else bringing this issue to the forefront! There are SO many people who just assume that if something is available, it’s safe; most products are not regulated or tested by any federal agency – and this is not just baby products! When I was 13 and we adopted my youngest brother, my mother delved into researching this issue and I am so grateful that I was able to grow up in a non-toxic home and have been able to carry that over into my own home as an adult, and especially now that I have little ones. If you care about your children, and your own health, PLEASE take the time to do the research and find non-toxic alternatives. A shameless plug: I use Melaleuca products exclusively and will be a customer for the rest of my life; find someone in your area or call the company directly to have someone explain the full benefits of this company to you.

  2. Shandeigh says:

    Honestly… I don’t worry too much about this stuff. Most of these sites are run by crazy environmentalist types that think all big corp is evil and bad. Some of the stuff they spout may be true… but according to my Dr it’s in a teeny weeny tiny percentage of people. Your kid is more likely to be aleric to Strawberries than have any of problems associated with these “toxic” products.

  3. Tania says:

    I’m with Shandeigh. I grew up with Johnson & Johnson and so did all my siblings. We are all very healthy and never had any bad experiences with the products. I have a gift set of their products in my baby registry and I have no intentions of taking it off my list. As a first time mom I do worry about having a safe environment for my child. But I also know that there is no way to protect my child from every toxin, bacteria, or virus that is out their. A new mom could go crazy trying to do that. My parents didn’t freak out over every little thing and I turned out just fine. Most kids turn out just fine.

  4. Marie says:

    And this is why I use just plain soap on my kiddo. Then she smells like a kid and not fragrances and chemicals. I’m one of the few who has a bad time with a great many chemicals so it’s largely me being selfish that led to the “soap only” rule at my house. But all things in moderation. Like Shandeigh says, take the internet with a grain of salt and don’t get over excited. The carpet is probably just as bad, in the long run…

  5. Danielle625 says:

    I can say that with my oldest child, he is a healthy child, no allergies at all, and is a thriving almost 4 year old, and he had a horrible reaction to the Aveeno Baby soap and lotion. I was scared to death as a first time mom.

  6. Dissy says:

    I am a believer that the stuff we put on our skin today leads to our health in the future. Who knows what 70 years of chemicals in your skin is going to do? After my grandmother came down with breast cancer at 78 with it being nowhere in our family history, I did a ton of research on the chemicals in the everyday products that we use. Needless to say, I have a toxin free home now and I got my grandmother to use non toxic stuff for herself as well. My parents and sister don’t care about these things, but hopefully they will in the future. I won’t let them bathe my baby in Johnson & Johnson or anything that is over a 2 on the Cosmetic Database.

  7. Nay says:

    Shandeigh – it’s very easy to think it’s all crazy environmental crap… Until you’re the one who has the side effects. Though I hope you can keep thinking it’s crazy – it’s NOT fun being on the other side of that experience. It’s up to the consumer to research EVERYTHING they’ve used and determine if it might be causing whatever condition is affecting themselves or their child. And pray the side effects are temporary (My “don’t be silly, of course it’s safe!” story included with seizures, migraines, paranoid/violent episodes, and memory loss for three and a half years, not to mention a 20 point IQ drop. Oh, and the only doctor’s attempt to help ended with toxic epidermal necrolysis. Not an OTC product, but one touted by doctors as perfectly safe, with maybe 20 minutes of feeling faint as being the worst possible side effect.)

  8. Natalie says:

    I love Earth Mama Angel Baby and I’m a “crazy environmentalist type who thinks that all big corp is evil and bad” and proud of it! If Shandeigh and Tania want to give all their money to companies that don’t look out for their consumers or the environment, well, that’s on their conscience. I vote with my dollars, and I vote for a less toxic world for all of us.

  9. maryscott28 says:

    Companies use “123 Samples” to distribute free samples and product samples to give consumers the opportunity to try their latest and greatest product lines.

  10. Kiraly says:

    If you are all worried about toxicity, I hope the first thing you did was install a filter on your shower. What we absorb from city water through our skin is shocking. It is far more harmful than any products we put on. Personally, I have not because the changes required to really live toxin/pesticide/chemical free in my home would be so huge that I am overwhelmed by it. We would have to have filters on every faucet just to start, special flouride-free water to brush our teeth, etc. It’s a noble cause for people that are dedicated enough to follow through but sadly, I’m just not motivated enough.

  11. Sarah says:

    Ok so after just bathing my 12month old in johnson and johnsons and lotioning her up with j&j THEN spreading desitin on her little bum…this freaks me out! What is a mom to do? Ive heard so many bad things lately about toxins in what i thought were trusted household named products! Why are these companys doing this? It cant be intentional? I want so bad to switch and pitch all my toxic products for organic/toxin free products but the prices outrage me…i am very financially strapped right bow and want to change but i just cant afford it! ANY suggestions? ALSO is city water bad for me and my baby to drink too??

  12. ToxinFree says:

    @Sarah, here’s what you do. Follow your gut and your instincts. Does anyone remember when butter was bad for you? Everyone should use margarine so everyone freaked out and switched to margarine. And then you know what happened? A new study came out that said nope margarine is bad for you use butter. Generally speaking in products like this less ingredients is better and more that you can pronounce. However, Johnson and Johnson has been around for many many years and I don’t recall hearing that anyone died from use of Johnson and Johnson products. If you child gets a rash and you suspect it’s from the soap stop using it. Don’t listen to these bloggers who think they know all though. Is this blogger a dermatologist? Pediatrician? Chemist even? Nope I don’t think so. So try not to let these things worry you because the fact is even the air we breathe has toxins in it. Short of keeping our children in a bubble we can’t protect them against everything. And keeping them in a bubble isn’t the answer either.

  13. Natalie says:

    @Sarah – You can buy the pricier toxic-free products but just use them more sparingly. We bathe kids too often when you really think about it. Buy a non-toxic baby shampoo, but only wash you kid’s hair twice a week. We do buy the 10 dollar baby shampoo, but we’ve had the same bottle for a year. Kids don’t sweat the way adults do. The dirt will come off in the warm water.

  14. Linda says:

    Ladies, ladies, ladies. My my my. All this discussion about something that can have such a grave affect on yourself and your children. Why on earth would you even consider using a product in your home or on your children that doesn’t even disclose on the label its chemical makeup. There have been so many man made chemicals discovered that we now are known carcinogens or suspected as, that have been removed from cleaners and personal care products. I shudder to think what is yet to be discovered. Buying safer, toxin free products does not have to cost more. And if you could find a safer, less expensive alternative that discloses what you are using, then why wouldn’t you use it. To me it’s a no brainer. But to simply throw your hands up in defeat because what choice do we have? or it’s what my mother always used and I’m healthy. Just look around at the increase in asthma, autism, eczema, and cancers in our young ones. As a child, and I know for me that was a long time ago, but I honestly don’t recall seeing so many young ones with puffers or even knew any schoolmates with cancer. And yes we are surrounded by toxins. But if you can do even a small reduction of exposure in your own home, why wouldn’t you ? Ever read “Slow Death by Rubber Duck”. I might recommend it for those in doubt. I would also recommend trying out Melaleuca The Wellness Company products. They have been producing these types of products for over 26 years. All natural and most are cheaper that the other “Green” grocery brands.

  15. Kiraly says:

    Sarah, technically, yes. City water is “bad” for you. Toxins are a huge problem in our society. Period. What we are eating, breathing, putting on our bodies is a huge reason there is such an increase in ALL diseases. Diabetes is epidemic (thank processed foods), allergies, asthma, etc. are all increased. As a mom, what do you do? The best you can. Like I said, to TOTALLY go green is HUGE. It is extremely conscious living (think grass fed, free-range meat), organic foods, etc. MANY companies claim their products are organic but the FDA does not regulate what exactly that means. If there is one natural ingredient in a cosmetic/body product it can be classified as organic. Explore your options…look for short ingredient lists. Not all things that sound scary are (for instance, “alcohols” in skincare products are actually emollients-not drying…everyone thinks of SD alcohol). Unless you are committed to really cutting out all toxins, don’t stress overly much. I agree with toxinfree…look for reactions and go from there. You will know if your child is having a reaction. Bottled water is better but there are very few that are truly purified…like I said it is a complete change in lifestyle, constant research and a very conscious way of living.

  16. Jenn the Greenmom says:

    My whole take on this is around our deeply-ingrained “innocent until proven guilty” American ethos. I think it’s a great idea where criminal justice is concerned, but I’m not at all convinced it’s the best route to go where use of untested chemicals is the question–and unfortunately, that’s the way ingredients in cosmetics, cleaning products, and even the food we eat are treated by the government, and “proof” is hard to come by. AND what is proven often will have as much to do with who is doing the proving as anything else! A dilemma. It’s also my belief that people generally run into problems not with specific ingredients but when amounts of different chemicals build up in the system or put too much stress on the body–it’s called “toxic load” or “body burden”–and it’s my goal with my whole family to try to keep that burden as light as possible.

    My own take is similar to what a lot of folks on here have suggested–try to find things with as few ingredients as possible. And while I agree that “don’t panic” is probably a good way to go, if there are easy and CLEARLY non-toxic substitutions for some of the commercial stuff, why not use them? Why buy baby oil, when you can buy a bottle of organic apricot or grapeseed oil at the grocery store and put a few drops of lavender oil in it, thus creating something better, safer, and probably cheaper than what you would have paid for? Ditto baby powder: buy cornstarch and scent it with essential oils if you wish. An incredibly easy diaper rash salve can be made by melting beeswax into olive oil (or you could use coconut oil or cocoa butter, whatever) and putting a few drops of tea tree oil in. A giant bottle of pure castile soap (fairly cheap) is pretty easy to combine with other ingredients for easy use.

    Do some google searches for recipes–I can recommend highly, though hers are more adult recipes than baby ones, I think. And I have a few at my site…but heck, you can find them all over. EASY.

    So for me the question isn’t “why would you cut out the commercial products” as much as “why would you need them in the first place”?

  17. ashley says:

    So…I read the article twice. The second time slower than the first hoping to catch what I missed the first time. And I didn’t miss anything. What exactly is so toxic about these products? And even from the link to the source of this information, I couldn’t figure out what’s so toxic.

    I’m going with, I have to use baby soap as regular soap that’s how sensitive my skin is. If it’s not causing a rash on me, it’s not likely to cause a rash on my kid. And I use the product on a fraction of the time (maybe 1/20th).

    While I appreciate the information being made available, it’s not any use if it’s not user friendly.

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