French health association raises alarm over baby cosmetics

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Infant

A sustainable health charity has launched a high profile campaign against the “toxic cocktail” of baby cosmetic products distributed in French maternity wards.

Le Comité pour le Développement Durable en Santé (C2DS) has hit the headlines in the French national press for alerting the public to the presence of parabens, EDTA, BHA and bisphenol A in baby cosmetics.

Scientists question baby products

The organization gathered doctors, chemists and cancer specialists to raise the alarm over the potential danger of these products on newborn babies whose skin is particularly permeable.

Professor Dominique Belpomme, who is president of the cancer research charity ARTAC, told the press that the accumulative cocktail effect of the baby products was unknown.

She said the current situation is absolutely unacceptable from the point of view of public health.

Many of the chemicals flagged up by the C2DS are commonly accused of presenting health dangers in cosmetics.

This week, bisphenol A, which is used in the plastic packaging for baby bottles, was linked to heart disease and diabetes in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Health Canada recently banned the chemical from baby bottles and recommended it for inclusion in the government’s list of toxic substances.

No such move has been made in Europe where the European Food Safety Authority reviewed the scientific data on bisphenol A in July and reaffirmed its safety at the existing limits.

Trade association defends baby products

Responding to the C2DS campaign, the Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté (FEBEA) sought to reassure consumers that baby cosmetics are safe.

The French trade association said all cosmetics are thoroughly tested and that under the EU Cosmetics Directive products aimed at children under three must undergo a specific evaluation process.

In the EU, certain ingredients that are permitted for use in ordinary cosmetics are banned or restricted in products for young children and babies.

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