Dangerous baby products - help!!!

[deleted account] ( 36 moms have responded )

Hi everyone,
I've recently been bitten by the "eco" bug and have been doing as much as I can do to ensure my family home is eco friendly and efficient. I'm now looking at all the products we use in the home and I've discovered that some of the regular everyday products I use for my children are basically poison. They contain cancer causing parabens and hormone disrupting phthalates. My husband thinks I'm being hysterical but I don't think I am. Pacifiers, teets, bottles and teething rings all contain phthalates. Lotions, creams, shampoo and bath soap contain parabens. What is going on? I've been looking online for some "healthy" products but they are quite costly and would appreciate some advice on which ones are the best to buy or some useful links. I don't mind spending the money as long as the products are worth it. The one item I've bought to try is called Halos n Horns baby bath and it has no SLS, Phthalates, MIT, Parabens, Triclosan, Propylene glycol and SLES. All of these are very harmful for our children. Anyone know about Halos n Horns?

Would love some advice or to chat to any other Mums who have been bitten by the eco bug or who are concerned about the "poisons" being pumped into our children!

Thanks you,
Catherine.

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Danica - posted on 05/22/2010

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Here are a few good ones, I started my daughter with cloth diapers, went to all natural cleaning products like: vinegar, baking soda, and oil of thyme. I also bought Norwex cloths, in Europe and other countries hospitals have gone to using norwex cloths they are filled with microfibre and silver. You can read about it here: http://www.norwex.com/
It really blew my mind when I started researching chemicals in things, it is so hard to get away from it. You must read labels or only use natural. There are products that are banned in Europe and other countries but are still used in North America. It is terrible, and I wish we had more influence in being able to get them banned. Things like parabens and triclosan. Here are 10 product ingredients to stay clear of http://beauty.suite101.com/article.cfm/b...

A few insightful sites are the following:

http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ here you can look up products that you have or want to buy, and find out the chemicals in them and it gives you a percentage. For instance my daughter has excema and we were using aveeno baby and it is 77 % chemicals.

http://www.thegreenguide.com/

some good bathing products are some of the following: kissmyface http://www.kissmyface.com/
Live clean http://www.live-clean.com/

Look for things with European standards as they have taken out many of the bad ingredients, if not all! seven generation and ecos are both good too!

hope this helps! :P

Anne - posted on 05/09/2010

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We live in the UK so maybe you can't get some of the things where you are but...



Washing products (detergents soap powder etc) - BIO-D

Note their washing powder eventually makes your laundry crunchy because of the high clay content but a squirt of their dish soap and some ordinary washing soda does a great job.



Bleach ( oxygen bleach ) - from various manufacturers



Toiletries - green people http://www.greenpeople.co.uk/



Toothpaste - Toms of Maine http://www.tomsofmaine.com/home



Baby Wipes - Tushies http://www.tushies.com

note they do disposable polymer gel free diapers but we couldn't use them because they were too stiff and the wrong shape.



Tiny Tush http://www.tinytush.com/ do great organic cotton diapers but as with all cloth diapers they need changing every five minutes.



Steam sterilizer unit instead of tablets



Nuk http://www.nuk.com/ do BPA, Pthalate, PVC etc free and orthodontically shaped bottles and pacifiers

Medela do BPA etc free bottles as do Born free and Breastflow



Bibi do BPA etc free infant snack pots and cutlery



Sophie the Giraffe http://www.sophielagirafe.co.uk/ is a natural rubber teething toy and I highly reccomend her. My baby loved her.



Natursutten http://www.vupbaby.co.uk/category/catalo... do BPA etc free teethers. Note the Apple teethers are rather big and are better for toddlers than babies for that reason.



Clothing and bedding -

Spirit of Nature http://www.spiritofnature.co.uk/ ,

Cambridge Baby http://www.cambridgebaby.co.uk/catalog/

HippyChick http://www.hippychick.com/,

Greenfibres http://www.greenfibres.com/pages/default...,

Prolana http://www.buyorganics.co.uk/m-prolana-1...



Organic and biodynamic baby food -

Holle http://www.holle.com.au/ (supplied in UK by Ulula),

Goodness Direct http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-loca...





Whole Foods in the US do a great range in organic foods, toiletries and baby products

Megan - posted on 06/14/2009

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Go old fashioned. Stuff from a hundred years ago contained a lot less dangerous chemicals. If you can get natural stuff... as far as soap... you can get old fashioned handmade soap to use. You can use products like vinegar and backing soda and lemonjuice for cleaning solutions, you can sun-bleach stains out of clothes and you can use olive oil to mouturize your skin. Look for cheap basic old fashioned remedies and you can bypass a lot of the chemicals that are harmful. Oh and to avoid BPA and other plastics problems... you can use glass bottles. Actually a great way to "go green" is to make sure everything you use is reusable. No paper products or disposable anythings. A great way to offset toxins and carbon buildup in your home is simple... houseplants! Being Green doesn't have to be expensive!

Kristin - posted on 06/02/2009

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The environmental working group www.ewg.org provides a list of almost all products and a rating of how bad/ good they are to use.

Kimberly - posted on 04/16/2009

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Hi Catherine! I used to be a super duper eco gal, but then had fallen out of the habit of a lot of things until I had my baby. Then, like you, I started paying attention again. Here are some of the things I use and love:



1. Earth Mama Angel Baby products. They have a website which I think you can buy from. The products are SOOO great...lotion and soap are olive oil based, I believe, and do not contain harmful ingredients. I find they last a very long time because we use smaller amounts of items. Oh, and the bottom balm is TERRIFIC at healing diaper rash, works with cloth dipes, and also is a great first aid balm on cuts or scrapes. I recommend ALL Earth Mama Angel Baby products. http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com/index....



2. Biokleen household cleaners. I use Bac-out (odor and stain remover) in our laundry (cloth dipes and regular wash) and to clean up furniture and carpet stains. It's a lime-peel-enzyme product. Terrific stuff. I also use their powdered dishwasher detergent, oxygen bleach poweder, soy kitchen and bath cleanser, soy toilet cleanser, and laundry liquid. They also have a website with a directory of stores you can buy from. If there is not a location near you, find out if your local health food store will try carrying these products. They really are amazingly good and good for us and the planet. Some of their prices are right in line with other brands, and some are a bit more expensive, but last FOREVER! (You only use 1 tablespoon of the dishwasher powder per load!) http://biokleenhome.com/



3. As for toys, teethers and things like that, I have recently started sewing and find that my 11 month old LOVES chewing on a small stuffed fish I made him out of organic cotton. :) It is stuffed with a poly-fill, but if you wanted, you could probably stuff it with scraps of the organic cotton. If you don't sew, lots of natural baby websites have a toy section where you can get items like the vegetable crate pictured for this group. Oh, also, wooden teething rings are great. My son just LOVES the little german doll with a wooden teething ring we received as a gift. The company name escapes me, though. Something Kruse... It's a woman's name, I think... Also, there are bottles and nipples that are phthalate and other chemical free, you just have to do a little web-searching. http://cottonbabies.com or http://babyworks.com are two sites I use.



Good luck and congratulations on your move to a healthier family. I totally understand where you are coming from, because the same sort of worry and near paranoia happened for me when my son was just a couple months old and all the news stories came out about BPA or whatever it is called and phthalates in plastics. Nerve-wracking for sure. Have a great day!

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Jessi - posted on 03/05/2014

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HI! Absolute BEST and ONLY option for me is mommy's club/the healthy home company products. Not only do they sell only products made with 100% organic, toxic free, eco cert, vegan ingredients packaged in bpa free bottles for the kiddos but they also sell organic, kosher, fair trade COFFEE! Plus completely safe cleaning products that replace even bleach!!! And I heard next month a full line of makeup from a manufacturer from New Zealand that's also non toxic so safe to snuggle up next to the kids wearing it. I won't shop anywhere else for anything. the site is www.mommysclub.com/healthyfamily
I'm so sick of the poisons too and it's just going to get worse if we as moms, the biggest group of shoppers and advocates for our children, don't make a drastic change!

Iryna - posted on 01/23/2014

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Hi
I found one company they heve amazing organic, toxic free , gluten free products .
Visit please
www.AllOrganicToxicFreeProducts.com

Casey - posted on 01/03/2014

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I highly recommend visiting Yes Natural Online Health Store, www.yesnatural.com.au for a great range of natural or organic products for babies and children including pacifiers, bottles, teething rings & bath time products plus a huge range of other health product for the whole house.

Patricia Di - posted on 06/24/2013

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The only fully USDA Certified Organic Line that is 95-99% of all ingredients are certified organic, and the other 1-4% are Kitchen grade ingredients. It's Doctor Recommended for normal to Sensitive Skin. Every product is absolutely clean of ANY chemicals, parabens, phthalates, perfums, Triclosan, Formadelhyde, fragrance, or residual pesticides from 'natural' products.

www.shooshatrue.com. Check it out. It's a line you can trust.

Shannon - posted on 05/11/2011

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As for bottles I have done a lot of research and I really like Thinkbaby products.

Erica - posted on 02/13/2011

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I agree that www.cosmeticsdatabase.org is a great place to find options for daily use items with less chemicals. When you look up a specific product there will be a link to the right that will show what % of items in the same category have lower risks and lets you click to see them!

I've used it to narrow in on the things that we'll hopefully be using with our little boy due in May and also to switch the products hubby and I use. Consequently my lifetime issue with eczema has almost completely cleared up and hubby's allergies are giving him a LOT less problems!!

@Anne P - thank you for the other links :-)

Veronica - posted on 01/21/2011

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well i started looking at this blog Nature mom and i had read about the harmful chemicals being put into baby cleaning products at the time i was using aveeno which wasnt helping my son skins he kept getting red splotches all over him he has very sensitive skin, i tried burts bees but its wasnt 100% naturel only 98% so it still made my sons skin blotchy then i tried the johnson & jonsons naturel but it ws also 98% natural had the same effect on his skin i was dissapointed i felt so bad for my baby it was irratating his skin but then i started using California Baby Producrs its completly plant based organic and vegan tear free without numbing agents it smells great has no fragrance's added its costly but a little goes a long way my son's skin has never looked better its available at Babies R us And Target.

Julia - posted on 08/11/2010

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There are already a ton of great answers! Its just govt. organizations and product labels make us think its ok, so the general populatation goes along. Just go back to basics as many suggest, do comparisons online and try to keep track of when the sales are or call and ask! Read labels on everthing, just because the AD says its safe doesn't mean it is...why do some many get sick, cancer, etc. It is pricey, after a while you get used to the raised cost like on organic food, so grown or make your own. Vineger, baking soda, herbs for scents. Throw out ANY plastic after 6 months, its still plastic, derived from oil. Whole foods has good products but expensive so go to a store to see a product, but look online for better deals. Sometimes it takes a long, long time to find the right product but don't give up, your family's worth it!

[deleted account]

After learning about toxins and chemicals in products, I have switched all my products out and purchase all of the products I need for personal, home and healthcare from a great online store. It's a 25 year old company that does the necessary research before putting their products on the market. If you would like more information you can always e-mail me or go to my website, http:www.200green.com/abiz4health
My e-mail is maryannr56@yahoo.com
I love helping people find safer more effective products.

Magda - posted on 07/06/2010

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I have also been bitten by the bug. I am trying to educate myself on the topic as much as possible - but because there's so much information out there, I am not going to fool myself and "rush" into anything. Instead, I have pledged to make small lifestyle changes that will ultimately get me to my goal. I try to buy local/organic as often as possible and with the help of EWG.com I am in the process of replacing products that I have used with healthier options. In addition, I have picked up a book about "green cleaning" to guide me a bit.

I am currently using California Baby bath products for my baby. They are highly recommended on the EWG site.

Other than that, I also visit www.healthychild.org -- this site has a number of printable "pocket guides" that can help you in deciding what to use/buy. I have printed out a number and given them to a bunch of my friends.

Good Luck with your mission. It's not easy, but totally worth it -- for our KIDS!

Anne - posted on 05/09/2010

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Just a note about the term organic in relation to propylene glycol. Chemistry is divided into two subjects: organic and inorganic. Organic chemistry refers to all molecules containing a carbon atom. This does not mean harmless or natural. Many plastics and highly poisonous chemicals fall into this category. It is important to realise that organic means a totally different thing in chemistry to how we use it in everyday language (the latter refering to natural unadulterated products).

I believe Propylene glycol is not desirable but has low toxicity to humans.

Stefanie - posted on 04/21/2010

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I feel that if you are overwhelmed by all the conflicting information, a good rule to go by is the 80/20 rule. if you feel that 80% of your household products, food, clothing, etc.(whatever is most important) is organic, pesticide-free, nasty chemical-free, etc. then you are doing pretty darn good! the other 20 % will fall into place eventually, but for now it's a big pat on the back just for taking the time to care! your children will thank you tremendously! Also, remember that your skin is the largest organ and therefore takes on the largest burden. Keep up the great work!

Ravit - posted on 11/18/2009

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Hi Catherine! Sadly, you are right that baby products contain a slew of toxic ingredients that have been linked to many diseases, illnesses and conditions. It is great that you are trying to look for alternative products. I did the same thing when my kids were born and I feel very confident that I did the right thing. You can check out my site, www.NaturesWizard.com for a slew of great educational information on personal care and household products for your whole family. In a few short weeks, we wil be launching a great feature to allow moms to Rate & Review hundreds of products. This way, you can get great advice from like-minded moms.
In the meantime, you can check it this article for more info on some of the chemicals you've mentioned and some other to think about: http://www.natureswizard.com/index.php/4...

p.s. I do not sell products! I refer you to exceptional natural and organic products.

I hope this helps! :)

Sara - posted on 11/18/2009

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My house is chemical free (well almost) I find Arbonne (they are ecocert certified)has some good baby products that are safe and I only use microfiber cleaning cloths(norwex enviro products)-so 0 chemicals there. I found the kleankanteens are good for bottles and than can be converted to water bottles as the kids get older. Laptop lunch kits (out of califonia) have some great products that are free of all the nasty's. I havn't heard of Halo's n horns so I can't help you an that one. Good lunch-stay green!

Sara - posted on 10/30/2009

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check out NOrwex enviro products they have a great line of cleaning cloths that are eco friendly and non-toxic and they remove and kill samonelle, ecoli, bird flu etc.

Julia - posted on 09/06/2009

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I was bitten by "the bug" after the birth of my 3rd child.....yeah, I started late. But I have found that toxins come from almost everything we use on a daily basis. Check out this link I found on YouTube.

It shocked me. I then began really doing some major research on all the products I use. I found some great alternatives to what the mainstream is "pushing"



Julia

[deleted account]

Yay! You sound like I did when I began to research all of the harmful things in baby products! I was even more distraught when I learned how many harmful chemicals are in the other products I use on regular basis...like laundry detergent, toothpaste, household cleaners, etc.. Even the vitamins we use don't really have what they claim to have in them!

I admit I freaked out a little bit, especially because I was pregnant at the time! Luckily, I ended up finding an amazing wellness company where I buy all of my products from now! They don't have child safety caps on any of their products because they are THAT non-toxic. I'm glad I don't have to worry anymore. Luckily there are alternatives out there!!

Elizabeth - posted on 08/02/2009

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I have found skin deep to be very helpful it is a database researched and compiled by the environmental working group of most anything that goes on your skin and each product and ingredient is ranked according to potential hazards.
www.cosmeticsdatabase.com

Elizabeth - posted on 08/02/2009

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I have found skin deep to be very helpful it is a database researched and compiled by the environmental working group of most anything that goes on your skin and each product and ingredient is ranked according to potential hazards.
www.cosmeticsdatabase.com

Orangegloves - posted on 04/17/2009

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*nods* Home-made stuff is the way to go when you can for sure. I agree with you there. And buying organic where you can too, along with knowing your sources. Like you might know that the chickens local to you are fed organic stuff but arent technically organic because the land isnt registered organic or whatever, but they're still good happy chickens. Stuff like that.



And finding alternatives to anything you're not happy with. I went and had a look at everything we have after I posted the other day and couldnt find anything with propylene in any form in it anyway! I make my own shampoo and creams, and use lavender neat as a deoderant because it's anti-microbial.

Kimberly - posted on 04/17/2009

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Good job, Melissa! I love it when Mommy's create solutions to their problems!!!!!!!!



And regarding lots of earlier posts, I agree that when conflicting information exists about man-made OR natural products, we have to take the most caution we can when it comes to our children. I would not rub orange peels in my son's eyes, nor would I bathe him in a chemical laden baby wash. That argument only emboldens my own.

[deleted account]

When I first became a mum, this was my concern too, and I did five years research into non-toxic toys. At the time there was very little available in Australia, so I stared importing them myself. You can find the lovely teething rings that Kimberley spoke about, as well as other organic and natural toys on may websites now. For those in Australia, have a peek at www.honeybeetoys.com.au

Michele - posted on 04/16/2009

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Hi!



I went all organic as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I am mostly vegetarian anyway so spending a little more to buy local organic produce was not a huge stretch. I also researched baby shampoos and lotions. I found that my 3 month old daughter and I both like the Burt's Bees products. They are plant based, natural products that don't cost a heap, smell great and don't irritate her delicate skin.

She is 100% breast fed currently so I have not looked into nipples for bottles. As for chewy toys for her to gum away at, I find that most toy companies label everything now because of all the chemical warnings about plastics that have come out in recent years.



Good luck and Bravo for doing your best to be chemical free!

[deleted account]

All the research that I've done and conversations I've had with a friend who is analytical chemist shows that 90-95% of all propylene glycol used in personal care products are produced from propylene oxide + H2O.  Propylene oxide is a known cancer causing man made toxic chemical compound.  It is the cheapes way to produce propylene glycol.  While the quantities are extremely low in the majority of products, I couldn't in good faith put that crap anywhere near my child.  And while the injestion of some chemicals aren't harmful, when applied to the skin you increase their potency up to 10 fold. 



Recently I've been reading a lot of medical reports regarding a lot of studies around girls aged from approx 8 to 15 and it seems that in the past 10 years girls are getting their periods earlier, growing breasts earlier and developing body hair earlier.  Reports are showing that there are many factors contributing to this.  Some start as early as in the womb.  Environmental consideration are a factor as are chemicals mimicing hormones in personal care products. Exposure to fast food and eating foods infected with pesticides are also factors.



As a mother of 2 toddler it is my responsibility to ensure that they are not exposed to anything that I would considered a danger or something that has so many conflicting reports. 



I've looked into Preservative K.  Apparently is the most natural preservative around.  But as it's an alkaline it can only be used in acidic concoctions.  This limits it's use. 



Just about to make myself and lovely olive oil, sea salt and lemon exfoliating scrub.  It takes about 2 minutes and costs next to nothing.  Definitely better for me than any store bought exfoliators! The lemon ensures that I don't smell like a salad dressing!! lol



 

Orangegloves - posted on 04/15/2009

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Yes, but the side effects of eating too many oranges is IBS and bowel cramps. Getting them in your eyes can cause eye irritation, and too much on your skin will dry your skin out! Would you say oranges arent natural?! EVERYTHING in the wrong place, or wrong quantity can be harmful to humans, even water! Propylene glycol is often derived from plant sources and is even used in food in small quantities. Sure, lots would harm you, but like I said, so would lots of orange juice. The harmful effects of parabens listed there are pretty much the same harmful effects as any saturated fat, but people still eat it and are healthy (in moderation, obviously) ... the trick is to know how much is too much, and know that your products come from ethical or well know sources, not dodgy places where the wrong quantities could get in the product.



I work with essential oils, which are totally natural oils derived from plants, but some of them are lethal in as little as 2ml. You must know yourself that some plants are lethal to humans and animals... but you cant deny that they are "natural" and "organic" ... the media and companies use these words to try and make us think that everything is safe, but natural and organic can be more lethal than chemical and synthetic if used in the wrong way or on the wrong person.



All you can do is look at what you are buying, and why you are buying it, and compare each item. Where the parabens are the last thing listed, they are in the smallest amounts. The first thing listed (in the UK at least) is the largest amount, etc. Some things sound chemicals and horrible, like "linalool" or "geraniol" but they're actually chemical constituants of plants. Ideally, you need to find yourself a reliable non-commercial and non-media influenced book or source of information, and then make a list of the things you feel you want to avoid and things you are ok with and carry it round with you. I am ok with parabens, but only in small quantities, and not in every product. They are a preservative, and extend the life of essential oils and other chemicals by stabilising them. That's great in something that is going to last you more than a year, but if you'll use it in 6 months, you could look for an alternative that is parabens free. There are other ways to preserve things - vitamin E is a great preserver, but too much consumed can damage your liver, so you wouldnt want vitamin E added to loads of foods. Preservative K is another one (great name huh? Very inventive!) but I dont know what that one is made from. It is derived from plants as far as I know, but it can only be used with certain types of products because it doesnt bond/gel with certain other things. My knowledge is kind of sketchy on that one, sorry.



I really hope this is kind of helpful. I really dont want you to just throw up your arms and give up trying, but do try and find out where everything comes from and how it's made rather than looking at the side effects/things that are bad about it. Remember that it's how it's used which is important. Anything used irresponsibly can be dangerous.

[deleted account]

What is Propylene Glycol?
It is a sweet colourless, viscous, hygroscopic liquid used as antifreeze and in brake fluid and also as humectants in cosmetics and personal care items although it can be absorbed through the skin with harmful effects.



 



The above explanation of propylene glycol is from a medical journal.  I think I might be missing the point here somewhere.  According to the journal is can cause eye irritation, skin irriation, skin drying and if injested can cause drowsiness, stupor and vomiting.  I'm not sure what part of this is "natural". 



 



Beginning to lose my mind from all the conflicting information.



The same journal posted the following:



What are Parabens?
Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.  Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas.  (Methylparaben E218, Ethylparaben E214, Propylparaben E216, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben and Benzylparaben)



The side effects can be:



1. Endocrine and hormone disruptors in men and women



2. Allergic reatction



3. Increase in early signs of aging



4. Linked to breast cancer



5. Decrease in sperm count in men



6. Weight gain



 



Going mad here!  Need some useful links to either confirm or deny the "myths" out there!

Orangegloves - posted on 04/15/2009

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Parabens do not cause cancer. That was the media blowing one sentence in a medical journal out of all proportion. Butylparaben was found in the breast tissue of a woman with cancer, suggesting that it migrated there from the armpit since it was in her deoderant. It had nothing to do with the cancer itself and was mentioned because they were considering how chemicals move around the body. No other parabens were even mentioned but everyone has freaked out over it.



What makes you think propylene glycol is poisonous too? It's an organic compound! It's "natural" !!!

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