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Babies may be exposed to potentially harmful parabens in personal care products

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There has been a growing appreciation for the potential damaging effects on babies of exposure to certain chemicals. Most recently concerns have been raised about personal care products being a source of paraban exposure in kids, writes the American Chemical Society on Dec. 11, 2013.

Researchers have said infants and toddlers are likely becoming exposed to potentially harmful substances, which are called parabens, at an even higher level than adult women in the U.S. Parabens are used in a wide variety of products, including medical devices, children’s toys, and personal care products. Parabens are being used as preservatives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested that greater than 90 percent of the population is exposed to these substances. Parabens have been detected in urine, breast milk and blood.

Parabens are being used in order to prevent the growth of microbes in cosmetic products and can be absorbed through skin, blood and the digestive system, according to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Concentrations of parabens which are similar to those found in consumer products have been found in biopsies from breast tumors. Parabens may be found in a large variety of products which include shampoos, lotions, deodorants, scrubs and eye makeup.

It appears that there is an association between parabens and health issues in both animals and people. The primary health issues which are associated with paraben exposure are sperm damage, breast cancer and an increased risk for asthma. Parabens have been found to be particularly prevalent in baby products. It has been estimated that the potential daily skin exposure to parabens by infants and toddlers may be as much as two to three times higher than that for adult women. This raises compelling questions about the presence of parabens in baby products and other products.



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