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Expert Q&A: Bathing and Soothing Baby’s Skin

An interview with Jeremy F. Shapiro, MD .

Are many parents concerned about parabens and phthalates in baby skin care products?

Yes, and there are two points of debate.

Parabens can be found in baby lotions, shampoos, and other baby skin care products. They function as preservatives to fend off bacteria and fungi. The concern lies in the fact that parabens can act like estrogen in lab experiments, raising a possible association with breast cancer.

Phthalates are more of an issue in toys than in skin care products, as they’re often used as a plasticizer. But they’re also found in a wide range of products, including detergents and perfumes. The concern is that they may affect hormone levels. In the U.S., bans are now being put in place for some but not all products containing phthalates.

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Reviewed on June 09, 2009
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