The Most Common Harmful Ingredients Used in Baby Products


Most parents are very careful when it comes to a newborn child and want only the best when it comes to the health and safety of their infant. However, despite careful research and consideration, it can still be difficult to distinguish what is good and bad for your child’s welfare. Many would be shocked to learn that many popular baby products, including teething rings, contain harmful ingredients linked to serious health concerns. Parents should always be in the know about what ingredients and materials to avoid.

Bisphenol-A (BPA)
One of the most common toxins that can be found in baby products is the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA. It has been known to cause damage to the brain, reproductive system, heart, liver, and more. Most notably, BPA has been discovered within the liquid found inside teething rings. Be careful when deciding whether or not to purchase a teething ring, as many of the name-brand apparatuses have been labeled “BPA-free.” Even trace amounts of the chemical can be permanently destructive of hormone producing receptors in the body.

Formaldehyde was recently classified as a “known human carcinogen” in a report by the National Toxicology Program, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Long-term exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to an increase in leukemia and brain cancer. Many manufacturers have made the argument that exposure in small amounts over a limited time is reasonably safe. This doesn’t dismiss the possibility that harm is done regardless of the amount of time one comes into contact with formaldehyde, though. One of the prime subjects in this case are “no tear” shampoos for infants.

Although considered a natural substance, it is important to mention talc considering it has been mentioned substantially in recent news. Talcum powder, which is the pulverized form of the mineral, is composed of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. It’s silky texture and moisture absorbing properties make it ideal for treating diaper rash, however, doctors have warned that talc dust my lead to infant breathing problems. The healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson has also come under fire as thousands of women are filing lawsuits against them following being diagnosed with ovarian cancer due to years of using talcum powder in their genital areas. Be sure that you check the label on any baby powder for talc before using it on your child.

Mineral Oil
Baby oil has become one of the most popular infant care products of all time. When used as intended, there doesn’t appear to be any major safety concerns. However, children have developed serious respiratory problems through inhaling trace amounts of this substance. Studies have shown that it can damage the tiny hairs in the airway, restricting them from triggering a cough when the liquid is inhaled. With no coughing, the mineral oil can travel directly into the lungs, and result in serious illness.

To conclude, be sure to check labels and take extreme precautions when caring for your infant this Baby Safety Awareness Month. Products with only natural and non-chemical-based ingredients will prevent any long-term health concerns. Being knowledgeable and up-to-date with the most recent recalls and class-action suits will help parents make the most informed decisions when it comes to their children.

About the Author:

Chandler Coleman is a Consumer Insights Investigator for, a health and safety resource that covers a variety of topics including medical conditions, general consumer safety topics, and hazards that may impact the welfare society.