5 Toxic Chemicals Used In Baby Products: A Pregnant Woman's Guide

pregnant woman

Here’s a shocking fact: thousands of chemicals found in everyday products – including baby products – have never been tested for safety. For parents, this realization can be frightening and make buying typical baby items like pacifiers, changing pads and baby oil challenging.

Just like home cleaners and cosmetics, there are many potentially harmful chemicals lurking in standard baby products. According to a study by the Environmental Working Group, the average child is exposed to 27 dangerous chemicals each day through personal care products.

As a new or expecting parent, you may feel overwhelmed at times trying to pay attention to everything your baby encounters, especially when there are so many chemicals to look out for. We therefore wanted to take time this Baby Safety Month to talk about several toxic chemicals parents should definitely avoid.

Instead of buying mainstream baby products and wondering whether they’re actually safe, your safest bet is to stick with natural, certified organic baby products. But you should also be aware of some of the biggest toxic offenders out there, including these 5 chemicals: 

1. Fragrances  

Synthetic fragrances are used to create nicer, more pleasing scents. But the ingredients of common fragrances are often concealed by companies as a “trade secret,” meaning you never really know what you’re getting in baby wipes, shampoos, or laundry detergents. Using fragrance-free products is obviously the easiest way to avoid any potentially toxic chemicals lurking in baby scents. If you end up choosing a product that’s scented, make sure it’s made from naturally or plant-derived substances, such as organic essential oils.  

2. Flame Retardants

Flame retardants are added to conventional crib mattresses to help pass government flammability requirements. A common flame-retardant chemical that’s used to treat baby product fabrics is antimony, which has toxicity concerns. Luckily, Naturepedic has made it our priority to comply with all flammability requirments and standards without having to use flame retardants in our crib mattresses, so there’s one less thing for parents to worry about when it comes to their baby’s sleep environment.

3. Waterproofing Chemicals

Because babies are bound to make messes, many baby products are doused in chemicals that make them waterproof and easy to wipe clean. Chemicals like vinyl/PVC, phthalate plasticizers, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), and/or other harmful chemicals are often used to waterproof baby products like docking stations, crib mattresses and pads, silicone baby bibs, and any baby rain gear. Instead of using questionable waterproofing chemicals, Naturepedic uses a healthier waterproofing alternative on our baby products that’s sourced from plant-based non-GMO sugarcane so no toxic chemicals are used.

4. Parabens

Now recognized as a chemical to avoid chiefly in cosmetics, parabens are preservatives that are also used in mainstream baby products to extend their store shelf life. Unfortunately, parabens are everywhere — they’re in baby shampoos, moisturizers, soaps, body washes, and other creams marketed to parents. Try to stay away from anything that has “paraben” in its ingredients, as these toxic chemicals have been linked to hormone disruption and skin irritation in babies.

5. Talc

This powdered mineral is commonly added to baby powder (and other cosmetics) as a drying agent. However, this dangerous chemical is a known lung irritant and may also be carcinogenic. Because talc has been linked to health issues, it’s wise to avoid using it to sooth your little one’s behind. Fortunately, there are plenty of talc-free, organic baby powders available that you can choose instead as a safer alternative.

By using only certified organic and non-toxic materials in our baby mattresses and bedding products, Naturepedic gives parents the peace of mind knowing that their baby is resting on safer and healthier products.