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Senator introduces bill calling for tighter controls on baby care products

By Guy Montague-Jones , 05-May-2009
Last updated on 05-May-2009 at 18:26 GMT2009-05-05T18:26:51Z

US Senator Kristen Gillibrand has introduced a new bill calling for tighter controls and regulations on the ingredients that go into baby care products.

The Democratic senator took the action after reading a report from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics alleging that leading personal care products contain high levels of cancer causing ingredients.

Call for tighter controls and more research

In “The Safe Baby Products Act” Gillibrand proposes that the FDA investigates and regulates the chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products used by children.

She said the legislation will require the FDA to investigate the safety of these products, publicly report the findings and establish manufacturing practices to reduce or eliminate any harmful chemicals.

“Like many other mothers in New York, when I read the list of these products, I immediately began to worry that I had been using some of these same products on my own children,” said Gillibrand. “This common sense legislation will ensure that we have all the facts about the baby soap and lotions that we use on our children.”

As well as unveiling the bill Gillibrand wrote a letter to FDA Acting Commissioner Frank Torti urging him to take action in studying these products.

Original research from consumer group

The study from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics that originally raised the alarm claimed that 82 percent of products tested contained at least 54 parts per million of formaldehyde and 1, 4 – dioxane. The campaigners claim these chemicals are linked to cancer and skin allergies.

The Personal Care Products Council attacked the report calling it a cynical attempt to prey on parental worries. It said the FDA had concluded that 1, 4 dioxane and formaldehyde levels in personal care products do not present a hazard to consumers.

Nevertheless, the study has elicited a strong political response. In addition to the bill from Senator Kristen Gillibrand, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro (HBSS) has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of parents against several big name manufacturers of baby personal care products including Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Kimberley Clark.

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