As parents, we take utmost care to choose what we feed our kids, what we bathe them with, what we apply on their bodies, and what we make them wear. Today's parents are conscious about the choices they make for their children. And why not? Being aware and making an informed decision is always a good thing.
Since there are some really harmful chemicals present in our everyday products and sadly even in our baby products which we were never aware of! Do check if your baby's essentials like diapers, creams, shampoos, bath soaps, toothpaste have these harmful chemicals as an ingredient:
- ▪ Phthalates– Phthalates are synthetic chemicals that are present in baby products ranging from shampoos to lotions, soaps, to even disposable diapers. They are also known as ‘endocrine disruptors’ as they can interfere with the human body’s hormone levels. They are capable of disrupting the natural levels of estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones.
As quoted by Hindu - "A study by environment advocacy group, Toxics Link, has found significant presence of phthalates, an inorganic chemical, in baby diapers. There is research to suggest that phthalates, when in contact with skin, may impede the regulation of hormones and is, therefore, banned in the use of cosmetic products, toys in India as well as in Europe, South Korea and China. However, there are no permissible limits or regulatory requirements on the use of the product in diapers."
“The study found high levels of phthalates ranging from 2.36ppm to 302.25ppm. The DEHP is the most toxic phthalate and is restricted or banned in several children products but was found between 2.36ppm [parts per million] to 264.94 ppm in the tested samples,” said Alka Dubey, Programme Coordinator at Toxics Link in a statement.
There are natural and non-synthetic alternatives available for products with Phthalates in them. It is vital to ensure that any products you pick for your babies are free of Phthalates.
- ▪ Artificial Colours & Dyes– There is no legal regulation around labels on food products, even for kids, to disclose the presence or amount of synthetic colour or dye in them. But food is not the only way kids are exposed to artificial colours & dyes. Toxic and harmful colours are present in clothes, toys, furniture paint, shoes, fashion accessories, etc., for kids.
Prolonged exposure to these dyes can cause issues such as hyperactivity, restlessness, sleep disturbance, skin rashes, upset stomach, and even asthma. It is crucial to choose products free of synthetic dyes that are harmful to your little one.
- ▪ Surfactant– One of the most common cleansing agents found in baby and grown-up products is Surfactant. It is basically a foaming agent that helps a product such as a shampoo, soap, body wash, conditioner, etc., lather up. It is a big myth that only products that lather up clean well, and thus the use of Surfactant in baby products, which is absolutely unnecessary, continues. Products that are free of Surfactant are flat and do not foam, but clean the skin & scalp equally well. So why expose our kids to chemicals which have no additional functionality.
- ▪ Parabens– Parabens are synthetic preservatives that are used in the baby as well as adult products to increase the shelf life. Parabens are found to be linked to a multitude of health risks, including cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, and skin irritation.
These days, there are many brands offering products that have all-natural and zero toxin preservatives instead of Parabens. Make sure to read the label & choose wisely.
- ▪ Silicone– Silicone is a shiny synthetic ingredient that helps create an external layer on the skin and hair that gives it a shine. It is thus used very commonly in baby and adult personal care products such as shampoos, body wash, body lotions, face creams, etc.
It is harmful to the human body, as it clogs the skin and hair pores, creating a barrier & not letting it breathe naturally. They are also difficult to wash off & are not water-soluble, thus pollute our water bodies and are equally harmful to our environment.
As a parent, an aware citizen of earth, it is our responsibility to keep ourselves aware and choose zero toxin, sustainable and the best certified safe products for ourselves and our babies.