Why Children are More Susceptible to Harmful Chemicals

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Babies are especially susceptible to harmful chemicals in everyday products because they are in a major stage of development and growth known as a window of susceptibility. This means that certain chemicals can be safe for adults and not for children.

Products from baby wipes to baby shampoo can all have the possibility of containing harmful chemicals. “EWG found that the average child is exposed through body care products to 27 chemicals a day that have not been found safe for children, including some associated with cancer, brain and nervous system damage, allergies and hormone disruption.” (EWG, Nov 2007).  

In fact, children's shampoos aren’t always tested for children’s safety. While children are more vulnerable to these harmful chemicals, there aren’t the necessary safety guidelines to protect them. The FDA isn’t required to test cosmetics and personal care products so they often go unnoticed while containing possibly dangerous chemicals.

Besides being in developing stages, children even have skin that is 30% thinner than adults and babies have not fully formed their blood brain barrier until they are six months old. All of this can add up so, it is important to read labels and use resources such as EWG’s Skin Deep Database to see what chemicals are actually in your products.

By Sara Frawley