Parent's Guide to Safer Products

Written by Tela Kayne

It seems everywhere you turn you are warned about the dangers of various chemical ingredients used in many of the products made just for children.  Just recently Environmental Working Group released it’s findings on the dangers of some teen makeup, as reported in an article published by USA Today.  

In a study of 20 girls from across the country, researchers found ingredients linked to health problems in animals in the blood and urine of all of the teens, ages 14 to 19.In the report, author Rebecca Sutton says she found 16 cosmetic-related chemicals in the girls. The ingredients belong to four classes of chemicals. One, triclosan, is a preservative that may affect the thyroid. Three others act like hormones: preservatives called parabens; synthetic musks, which are commonly added to fragrances; and phthalates, also used in fragrances. Ingredients in all four classes have been linked to cancer in laboratory studies, the report says.

As a parent who is fairly familiar with the ingredients to look out for and avoid, I still get overwhelmed by all of the dangers that exist and find it difficult to remember them all!  One of my favorite resources is Environmental Working Group’s Parent’s Buying Guide.  It provides a comprehensive list of toxic ingredients to look out for and offers a searchable database of products so you can check the safety of the following types of products that you may be buying for your family:

You can also print their guide and keep it with you when you shop for easy reference.  

The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. EWG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles. 
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