Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Low Down on Baby Wipes - Part 2

So after my post about Wipes and the alternatives I thought I would investigate various brands and what they contain.

 Johnsons's baby Cleansing Wipes contain:
Water, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate , Glycerine, Citric Acid.
So what does all those random words, mean?

Phenoxyethanol:  Touted as a preservative that is "safer " then Parabens,  The FDA issued a warning that this chemical can cause the central nervous system to shut down and contact dermatitis. 
"Phenoxyethanol is a glycol ether (not 'ester' as I incorrectly wrote in the first version of this post). Glycols are a series of chemicals that find their way into all sorts of things: paint, lacquer, jet fuel..... Phenoxyethanol is used as an anti-bacterial in cosmetics as well as a stabilizer in perfume.
The product's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) says that it phenoxyethanol is harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin and that it can cause reproductive damage. The MSDS refers to 100% concentrations, so is it safe at lower doses? In cosmetics the concentrations are typically 0.5% to 1%."  Source: truth in aging (link to article)
Phenoxyethanol's profile on the cosmetic Database  
Chemical of the day found this: 
 "Safety/Hazard Info:
  • This animal study found phenoxyethanol to be a reproductive toxin.  (Source)
  • This study found it to be the cause of contact dermatitis (skin allergen/irritant.)  (Source)
  • This review confirms phenoxyethanol as a reproductive toxin.  (Source)
  • This also confirms phenoxyethanol as an ovarian toxin not just for the original animal exposed to it, but shown to effect the development of its offspring.  (Source)
  • This study found it to be a significant contact allergen.  (Source)"

Sodium Benzoate:   
"Sodium benzoate is a type of salt that may occur naturally in some foods but is more likely to be chemically produced and added as a preservative to foods. When used as a preservative,sodium benzoate is typically added to foods in small amounts only. If too much is added, food may take on a very bitter taste.
The reason you will note sodium benzoate listed in the ingredients of so many foods is because it works very well at killing bacteria, yeast and fungi. You will most commonly see it used as a preservative in foods with a high acid content, since sodium benzoate will only work when the pH balance of foods is less than 3.6. It is therefore effective in most sodas, vinegar, fruit juice, and in mixed ingredients like salad dressing. It is additionally used to stop the fermentation process in wines.
Sodium benzoate naturally occurs in several fruits like apples, plums and cranberries. A few sweet spices contain small amounts of sodium benzoate, including cloves and cinnamon. The presence of sodium benzoate in these foods does not necessarily act to preserve them." Source link
It has been link to low oxygen levels in the human body, the breakdown of the immune system and also linked to cancer.
"Derived from a reaction of benzoic acid with sodium hydroxide, sodium benzoate is actually the sodium salt of benzoic acid. Sodium benzoate is a known carcinogenic additive which, when eaten or applied to the skin, gets transported to the liver, where it is supposed to be filtered, and expelled in urine, but the damage gets done before that process is completed.
The FDA says it's safe because the amount used to preserve foods is very low, but don't ever combine it with vitamin C or E, as this causes benzene to be formed. This is dangerous. Benzene is a known carcinogen, which means it causes cancer." Source Link

In Food Sodium Benzoate appears as Sodium benzoate 211 on the labels. (link on it in food)
 Sodium benzoate's profile on the cosmetic Database states it is unsafe to be inhaled but there are no safety concerns, yes work that one out.
Sodium benzoate Dangers  has a great article on Sodium Benzoate here is a great quote :
 "One known cancer danger exists related to sodium benzoate. If you combine ascorbic acid (vitamin C) with sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate (another preservative), you get benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen. Most of the benzene exposure comes from the environment including cigarette smoke, car exhaust, industrial waste and service stations. Some benzene exposure can also come from contaminated food and water. "

From Chemical Of the Day:
"Safety Info:
Known to be a neurotoxin to aquatic animals.  (Source)
Is toxic/lethal at high doses in humans.  (Source)
Animal studies have shown some developmental abnormalities (Source)
Rats and mice given moderate doses of sodium benzoate showed decreased weight and some endocrine disruption (Source) however, at low doeses there were no effects.
Animal studies have shown it to be toxic to the liver at moderate doses (Source)
When combined with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or citric acid, it forms benzene, a known carcinogen.  This is a common problem in soft drinks. 

  • One study found that sodium benzoate created free radicals in the body, destorying mitochondrial DNA, adding to the body's aging process.  (Source)"

Glycerin:     has been approved for human consumption by the FDA, it can be found in everything from food such as Candy to products such as Toothpaste. 

Wikipedia lists its uses as ranging from a laxative to antifreeze (link)

Citric Acid:  

The MSDS fact sheet for Citric acid states this for health and safety risks:
Potential Acute Health Effects:
Hazardous in case of eye contact (irritant), of inhalation (lung irritant). Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant,sensitizer), of ingestion. The amount of tissue damage depends on length of contact. Eye contact can result in corneal damage or blindness. Skin contact can produce inflammation and blistering. Severe over-exposure can produce lung damage,choking, unconsciousness or death.
Potential Chronic Health Effects:
Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (sensitizer). CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS:Not available. TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. The substance may be toxic to teeth. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage. Repeated exposure of the eyes to a low level of dust can produce eye irritation. Repeated skin exposure can produce local skin destruction, or dermatitis. Repeated inhalation of dust can produce varying degree of respiratory irritation or lung damage."

So this chemical is known to cause blindness, death, choking, dermatitis... and lung damage.. sounds like a fun cuddly chemical doesn't it?  Wikipedia info on citric acid

From Cosmetics Info:

Safety Information

Citric Acid, Calcium Citrate, Potassium Citrate and Sodium Citrate are on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) list of direct food substances affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).

The safety of Citric Acid and its Calcium, Potassium and Sodium salts has been assessed by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. The most recent review concluded that it was not necessary to limit the dietary intake of Citric Acid and its salts.

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has deferred evaluation of Citric Acid and its salts because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.

Now does this make you want to rush out and buy some of these wipes?

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