Bubble Bursts on FDA Oversight of Kids' Bath Products
In early February, the Campaign for Safe
Cosmetics and author David Steinman released lab tests that
showed 1,4-Dioxane-a hidden cancer-causing petrochemical-in bath
products for kids and adults.
In the weeks following that press
conference we've heard from worried and angry parents across the
United States. Clearly the presence of this carcinogen in
products you use to bathe your children is not OK with you-and
why would it be? It turns out that companies can vacuum-strip
the nasty stuff out cheaply, but they don't. And it's a
contaminant, so it doesn't show up on labels.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics vowed to
put the heat on the government agency that has been charged with
making sure personal care products are safe for kids and adults:
The Food and Drug Administration.
reported that the FDA's recommended limit on 1,4-Dioxane in
cosmetic products was 10 parts per million-a lax, outdated
guideline for a known carcinogen. Yet every single commercial
bubble bath and shampoo Mr. Steinman had tested for this study
contained 1,4-Dioxane, and 15 percent of the products exceeded
even the lenient FDA guidelines. This limit was explained to Mr.
Steinman during interviews with FDA officials, and corroborated
by online reports from other government agencies.
However, after our press conference the
FDA admitted something alarming: The agency doesn't have any
recommended limits for 1,4-Dioxane in the personal care products
that we slather on our skin and use to bathe our babies. And as
soon as reporters started asking the FDA questions, references
to the guideline disappeared into cyberspace.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics isn't
letting this problem run down the drain: We sent a letter to the
FDA on February 22, 2007 that requested prompt, clear answers on
1,4-Dioxane. We followed up in March. We have not heard back
Concerned parents, concerned people who
shower, the issue is complicated but the bottom line is not:
The FDA is not minding the tub! We not only
need clarification on the FDA limits for 1,4-Dioxane in personal
care products, we also want to know who's looking out for