7 Healthcast: Chemical concerns
But in this study, the products themselves were never tested.
The University of Washington tested dozens of babies' urine and found the more of these baby products they used- creams, lotions, powders, shampoos- the higher their levels of man-made chemicals called phthalates.
"We're concerned because there's been a recent body of data showing that phthalates are developmental and reproductive toxicants," said Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana.
But that's primarily in animal studies, not in humans.
The FDA says it's not clear what effect phthalates have on human health.
Phthalates are used in baby products to help the fragrance stay on the baby's skin.
An independent panel of experts found low levels of phthalates safe in cosmetics.
But the question is: are those same levels safe for babies?
The industry points out this study never tested products themselves, and all but one of the phthalates they found aren't even used in baby products.
"To reach a conclusion that the phthalates that are found are coming from these products are not supported by the data," said John Bailey of the Personal Care Products Association.
Phthalates are widely used in plastics.
The industry asks: could the levels in these babies have come from plastic diapers or even plastic gloves and containers used in the research?
Still, more questions than answers as scientists try to determine if these chemicals are also safe.
Perhaps a simpler answer for parents is to use less. Some doctors suggest that when cleaning and diapering young babies, soap and water, or even just water, is good enough.
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