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Toxic Chemicals in the Bathroom

Click here for more non-toxic tips from our Green Parent Guide

Move over hairspray, makeup and nail polish—it’s time to make room for baby lotions, ointments, and powders. With all the new products taking up space in your bathroom cabinet, along with the extra time spent in the bathroom with your baby, you’ll want to guarantee that you’re not exposing your newborn to unwanted chemicals.

Baby Personal Care Products

Splish, splash – your baby’s favorite time of the day! Sadly, some baby bath products contain chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and other health problems. From formaldehyde in popular baby shampoo to triclosan – a chemical linked to hormone disruption – in antibacterial soaps, babies’ exposures can add up!

Try This!

  • Stay away from the baby bath products that contain potentially harmful ingredients like parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, petroleum derivatives, artificial color, and synthetic fragrance. Instead, look for products labeled “phthalate-free.”
  • Wash your baby simply with castile soap and water.
  • Make your own baby personal care products. For example, you can substitute almond oil for lotions that may contain harsh chemicals. Check out www.safecosmetics.org for other non-toxic DIY bath products!
  • Avoid antibacterial soaps with triclosan. Look for soaps with thyme oil, a safer alternative that has natural antibacterial properties.
  • Remember to store all personal care products for you or your baby securely out of children’s reach.

Bathroom Accessories

Keep baby bath time fun and non-toxic by avoiding PVC, the poison plastic linked to cancer, found in bath toys and baby tubs, and vinyl, which some shower curtains are made from.

Try This!

  • Avoid bath toys made from PVC (signified by the plastic recycle symbol number 3, but note toys do not always carry this recycled symbol). Look for PVC-free toys instead.
  • When shopping for a shower curtain look for liners made out of organic hemp or cotton, polyester, or nylon.

Mold and Mildew Sprays

Because babies’ immune systems are still developing during the first year of life, they are more prone to respiratory illnesses if exposed to mold. Yet many commercial mold and mildew sprays contain harsh chemicals that could be even more harmful to your baby’s young respiratory system.

Try This!

  • Prevent mold in the first place. Turn on the fan, open a window, or install a dehumidifier.

Make A Change & Check It Off!

Pick a change (or a few!) you can commit to making.

✔ Use fewer personal care products on your baby.

✔ Check labels on baby care products to avoid toxic ingredients and contaminants.

✔ Make your own baby lotions, shampoos or other personal care products.

✔ Look for antibacterial soaps with safe alternatives like thyme oil or simply use plain castile soap and water.

✔ Replace PVC plastic bath toys with PVC-free toys.

✔ Replace vinyl shower curtains with ones made from natural materials.

✔ Prevent mold through good ventilation and dehumidifiers.

✔ Reduce your use of disinfectants and anti-bacterial cleaners.

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