Is Your Child's Toothpaste Toxic? (page 2)

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Updated on Dec 18, 2008

Parents shouldn't feel like they need a chemistry degree just to shop for their children, but they should know just what's in the products they're buying. “Because we don't have regulations that protect us, parents need to really get educated and shop carefully to protect their children,” says Sutton. She recommends consulting the EWG Parent's Buying Guide to find safer alternatives. Case agrees, urging parents “not to make a purchasing decision based on a claim until they know exactly what it means,” and recommending that parents look for the Green Seal or EcoLogo mark if they want eco-friendly alternatives.

Short of scanning ingredient lists and product labels, there is one simple thing parents can do to reduce the risk: buy less, and think more. “My guess is that children probably use a lot more of these products than they really need,” says Williams, who recommends that parents ask themselves why exactly they are using each product. For instance, she says that unless your young child has visibly dry skin or is itchy, moisturizers shouldn't be necessary. Case agrees: “One question every consumer should ask is 'Do I really need this product?' because there's a lot of products we use that we don't really need.”

So next time you're browsing the shelves of your local supermarket, consider the simple bar of soap instead of that bright pink shower gel, or the product whose ingredients you can recognize over the one that sounds like CHEM Lab 401. Until government regulations are put in place to protect consumers from questionable products ranging all the way from toys to toothpaste, parents will need to be the ones policing the aisles.


To find out more, visit the EWG's Parent's Buying Guide or check out TerraChoice's Six Sins of Greenwashing

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