How Do I Know That My Child’s Shampoo is Non-Toxic?

You’ve heard horror stories about toxic chemicals in kids shampoo—but how can you tell if your shampoo is safe? Read on to find out!

You might have heard: There could be dangerous chemicals in your child’s shampoo, but is it true?

If so, what kinds of effects can these contaminants have? Could you be harming your children by using toxic shampoo?

The truth is that there are plenty of controversial chemicals being added to hygiene products across the board, and it’s your responsibility to choose the safest options available, especially when it comes to kids shampoo.

Formaldehyde, Phthalates and Parabens

You might be surprised to discover ominous-sounding chemicals like formaldehyde, phthalates and parabens are part of your child’s shampoo products. But what are these chemicals and how can you avoid them?

Unfortunately, manufacturers aren’t required to list the ingredients they use in hygiene products. While many are reducing or eliminating their use of possibly harmful chemicals, others are reluctant to do so without being forced through state regulation.

Let’s look at just what these chemicals are:

Formaldehyde is a well-known poison and carcinogen, most frequently used as embalming fluid. No hygiene product manufacturer includes this chemical intentionally, but it can find its way into end products as a manufacturing byproduct.

• Phthalates are a large group of possibly harmful chemicals that have been shown to end up in users’ bloodstreams. At least eight of these chemicals have been added to the “Chemicals of Concern” list maintained by the U.S. EPA, according to WebMD. Generally, the only way to avoid them is by purchasing products that explicitly claim to be “Phthalate-free”

• Parabens are preservatives commonly used in shampoos. Their presence has been linked to breast cancer tumors, but studies are as of yet inconclusive. As a result, their use in small doses (between 0.01 percent and 0.03 percent) is generally considered “safe” by government bodies

Although the Environmental Working Group maintains and regularly updates a list of what hygiene products contain these substances, it cannot cover everything on the market. This is why we recommend only using hygiene products that are guaranteed —by the manufacturer— to be free of possibly harmful chemicals.

Until research shows conclusively that certain chemicals are indeed harmful, state regulators across the world have their hands tied when it comes to banning them. Even then, such as in the case of formaldehyde, they may be unable to enforce those regulations without putting strict quality control measures in place, which manufacturers predictably lobby heavily against.

How to Find Safe Kids Shampoo

Now that we’re aware of the risks involved with using inexpensive off-the-shelf shampoo products, it’s time consumers made the effort to protect their health and the health of their families. The best way to ensure this is by purchasing products made exclusively from all-natural ingredients—a kids shampoo whose manufacturers understand the need to avoid phthalates, parabens and other controversial chemical additives.


  1. This is so important to think about! Thanks for the information.

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