More than half of the baby shampoo, lotion and other infant care products analyzed by a health advocacy group, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, were found to contain trace amounts of chemicals that are believed to cause cancer. Some of the biggest names on the market, such as Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo and Baby Magic lotion, tested positive for 1,4-dioxane or formaldehyde, or both.
The chemicals, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has characterized as probable carcinogens, are not intentionally added to the products, and are not listed among ingredients on labels. Instead, they are likely byproducts of the manufacturing process. Formaldehyde is created when other chemicals in the product break down over time, and 1,4-dioxane is formed when foaming agents are combined with ethylene oxide or similar petrochemicals.
The organization tested 48 baby bath products such as bubble bath and shampoo. Of those, 32 contained at least one of the chemicals, and 17 tested positive for both chemicals.