GUEST BLOG: Are children’s products suitable for children? | Breast Cancer UK

GUEST BLOG: Are children’s products suitable for children?

Published 22 Sep 2018

Do you think that children’s products are appropriate for children? As a mother I did - but recent research here at Giki suggests this is not necessarily the case.

We looked at over 100 children’s bathing products, which you can buy in the supermarket, and found that nearly half of them contained chemicals which many believe carry some health risks.

Many consumers, scientists and NGOs have been raising concerns about exposure to these chemicals in everyday products for a while. And perhaps that’s no surprise when they are linked to numerous potential health issues ranging from skin irritations and allergic reactions to cancer, hormone disruption and effects on the reproductive system. 

The chart below shows which chemicals we found in children’s bathing products which have potential health risks.

Source: Giki Social Enterprise, July 2018

Clearly to most of us consumers, many of these names don’t mean much. And there are thousands of ingredients used in personal care products, so keeping on top of all of them is a pretty tough ask. So here’s the low down on some of them:

The  amount of exposure, the length of exposure, other factors and uncertainty make it almost impossible to determine a direct link, but many parents decide it’s just not worth taking the risk. If that’s you then here are a few that contain some of the chemicals you might want to avoid:

Source: Giki Social Enterprise, July 2018

However, the good news is, that more than half of the products we found in supermarkets did not contain any concerning chemicals. Brands that perform well include:

  • Bratz 
  • DGJ 
  • Jackson Reece 
  • Professor Scrubbington 
  • Schwarzkopf 
  • Weleda 
  • The Simpsons 
  • Top Gear 

 At Giki we also look at other issues such as recyclable packaging, animal testing and greener cosmetics. Here are a few examples of products which score well:

Source: Giki Social Enterprise, July 2018

So for all of us parents and carers, it’s about navigating the minefield of labelling, science and complexity. Hopefully our free app will make that easier. The good news is that we can avoid risky chemicals if we choose to.

Written by Jo Hand, founder of the GIKI App - Your Sustainable Shopping Companion. A mobile app that informs you about the products you buy and the companies you buy them from.

Breast Cancer UK does not endorse any products or any opinions expressed by our guest bloggers.  The blogs are the personal opinions and endorsements of the blogger and not necessarily reflective of Breast Cancer UK views.  If you have questions about the blog, please contact louise.bowers@breastcanceruk.org.uk.

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