By Megan Boyle and Samara Geller, Database Analyst
Every parent knows that caring for a new baby requires lots and lots of cleaning. But can washing up the milk and spit-up introduce your baby to potentially harmful chemicals?
For its spring 2016 update, EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning analyzed more than 400 new cleaning products and formulations, including ones marketed for new parents and their babies’ needs.
The guide looks closely at product ingredients, labels and online transparency, then ranks products with a letter grade from A (best) to F (worst). Of course, some of the products are better than others. Click here to view the list of cleaning products for babies.
Products that score poorly contain such hazardous ingredients as the allergenic preservative methylisothiazolinone (MIT) or sodium borate (borax), which can disrupt hormones and harm the reproductive system.
Poorly rated products use sparse or vague terminology – such as “biodegradable surfactants,” “fragrance” and “fabric brighteners” (also known as optical brighteners) – but do not disclose specific ingredients on the label. Visit the guide’s Label Decoder to learn more about what these terms mean.
Almost half of the products EWG analyzed failed to display a complete list of specific ingredients anywhere. Manufacturers can get away with this legally, since virtually no federal or state laws require manufacturers to disclose their cleaning products ingredients.
Products with better scores contain ingredients with fewer health hazards and make more ingredient disclosure on the package and on the company website.
The cleaning products for babies are among 406 new products from 85 brands just added to EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning. The new products were available in stores from October 2015 to February 2016 or were submitted directly to EWG by manufacturers. EWG evaluated and rated the products according to the Guide to Healthy Cleaning methodology.
For more information on the cleaning products for babies – as well as those for your whole household – visit EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.