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When Safe isn’t

During a recent browse in a supermarket, I noticed a well-known baby care range. The bathwash was labeled “Safe for newborn babies”. The following is a list of the ingredients:

Water, PEG-80 Sorbitan laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-150 Distearate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance [HL20-36715].

PEG stands for propylene glycol which is a strong skin irritant with Material Safety Data Sheets warning to avoid skin contact. PEG-80 is a surfactant which can be sensitising, drying or irritating for skin.

SLS, sodium lauryl sulphate and the many related derivatives are sometimes labeled as being derived from coconut oil. However, during some manufacturing processes the end product contains ethylene oxide and dioxine, both potent toxins [Dr S. Lantz PhD].

Methylchloroisothiazolinone is a preservative found to be very irritating on the skin.

There is no Australian Standard for labelling of ingredients on skin care products – it is a buyer beware situation. Much more information about lebelling and toxic ingredients can be found at

So would you consider this product ‘safe’ for a precious new-born baby?  There are safe options.