BPA is short for bisphenol A. It is a chemical often found in plastic containers such as water bottles and food packaging. While useful, BPAs can be a harmful ingredient in baby products. The danger lies in its potential health effects on the brain and nervous systems, especially in infants and developing fetuses.
BPA can transfer from the container into the product or food. Check the packaging for the words “BPA-free” and avoid plastics with the recycle symbol with the numbers 3 or 7. Avoid heating plastic containers in the microwave or leave them exposed to heat, as it can increase the amount of BPA that is transferred.
For obvious reasons, baby diapers are definitely not the best-smelling things in the world. You may think it’s a good idea to cover up odors using perfumes and scented products, but these may do more harm than good. Even in adults, products that contain perfumes and fragrances can cause allergic reactions (contact dermatitis). Babies have more delicate skin and immune systems, therefore the effects of these ingredients can be more harmful.
Check the labels to ensure that there are no synthetic perfumes or fragrances. Examples of these ingredients include benzenes, aldehydes, and toluene. Choose products labeled as “fragrance-free” rather than “unscented.” Unscented products still contain chemicals that have a neutral scent or mask other scents, but can still be harmful.
Finally, there’s formaldehyde. While last on this list, formaldehyde is one of the most dangerous chemicals here. Formaldehyde is commonly found in industrial products, though it can be an ingredient in some baby shampoos and soaps. Examples include disinfectants, plywood, and insulation materials. Additionally, embalmers use it to preserve bodies.