March 17, 2009

Senator Gillibrand Urges FDA To Regulate Baby Products

New Study Reveals Widely Used Baby Products Contain Carcinogens and Harmful Chemicals

Washington, DC - After a new study revealed that widely used baby products contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate ingredients in baby products. In a letter sent late yesterday to Frank M. Torti, Acting Commissioner, Senator Gillibrand called on the FDA to ensure that all ingredients are safe for long-term use before they can be used in baby products.

In her letter, Senator Gillibrand wrote, "As a mother of two young children, I expect the baby and child products my family uses to be safe.  I find it to be unacceptable that the FDA does not regulate personal care products, as it does food and drugs.  As a result, baby soap, lotions and other products are contaminated with deadly chemicals.  Even the best intentioned parent cannot protect their child when the danger is unknown or invisible to watchful eyes."

A study released last week by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics showed that baby care products are commonly contaminated with formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane, which have been linked to cancer and skin allergies. More than two-thirds of the products tested positive for 1,4-dioxane and more than eighty percent were found to contain formaldehyde - 17 of the products tested positive for both.

In addition, there is growing evidence that proves that toxic chemicals lead to increasing rates of disease, even in small doses. Studies have found these risks to be even more pronounced in children under the age of 18-months.

"Americans expect and deserve the same level of protection from harmful cosmetics as they do from dangerous food and drugs.  The fact that these products, used daily on children and babies throughout the country, are among the least-regulated products on the market is intolerable.  I am writing to demand that the FDA protect America's children by requiring that all ingredients are safe for long-term use before they can be used in everyday products," Senator Gillibrand wrote.

Senator Gillibrand plans to explore legislation to require the FDA to regulate the ingredients in baby products.

Letter is attached.