Phthalates in baby skin care products.
The systemic toxicity of phthalates has been extensively reported. Although rarely sensitizing, phthalates have been implicated in promoting the development of both atopy and contact dermatitis in animal models. Dermal absorption of phthalates may contribute to overall chemical burden. Infants may be particularly susceptible to chemical exposures. Baby skin care products may be a significant source of phthalate exposure.We measured the phthalate content of 30 skin care products intended for babies and children.Nineteen leave-on and 11 wash-off baby skin care products were analyzed for 17 unique phthalates by an independent laboratory using standard gas chromatographic mass spectrometry.Of 30 products tested, four had phthalate levels above the reporting limit (0.1-0.5 ppm); of these, only one had levels above 1 ppm (44 ppm). There was no statistical significance of phthalate detection in leave-on versus wash-off products (p = .578).The majority (26 of 30) of the baby skin care products analyzed did not have detectable phthalate levels. Four products had detectable phthalate levels. In baby skin care products, levels of the 17 phthalates tested are low overall, but occasional products may contain higher phthalate levels. Monitoring products to ensure safety standards are met may be warranted.
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