Study: Chemicals, pollutants found in newborns (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/3/09)

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Besides BPA, umbilical cord blood of American infants may be contaminated with synthetic musks, according to yesterday's EWG study. These musks are chemicals commonly used in "fragrance," that mystery ingredient in shampoo, lotion, spray cleaner and, yes, perfume.

Fragrance can contain dozens or even hundreds of ingredients, none of which appear on labels, some of which may be toxic and most of which have never been tested for long-term safety. This fragrance loophole is one of the reasons the Breast Cancer Fund, EWG and colleague organizations launched the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics five years ago, and why we continue to push for smarter laws and safer cosmetics for everyone.

The story about musks was picked up by the San Francisco Chronicle:

Chemicals from cosmetics, perfumes and other fragrances were detected along with dozens of other industrial compounds in the umbilical cords of African American, Asian and Latino infants in the United States, according to a national study released Wednesday….

Seven of the 10 babies had in their umbilical cord blood synthetic musks known as Galaxolide and Tonalide, which are toxic to aquatic life and have been shown in preliminary studies to cause hormonal changes.

The musk is used in scented soaps, perfumes and colognes, indicating the infants were contaminated by cosmetics their mothers used. (Read complete article.)

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