May 19, 2009
The Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Gillibrand:
On behalf of the National Research Center for Women & Families, I am writing to express our strong support for S. 925, the “Safe Baby Products Act of 2009,” which would examine cosmetics and personal care products marketed to children for impurities.
A recent report found formaldehyde and 1, 4-dioxane-known carcinogens-in children’s personal care products. We are pleased that your legislation specifically targets these substances.
Your bill would direct the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner to test the chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products marketed to children 7 years and younger. The products tested would include baby shampoo, baby wipes, liquid soap, sunscreen and other items. Children may be exposed to several products over several hours or days, so even small exposures add up and may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases later in life.
Children and babies are particularly vulnerable to these harmful chemicals because pound-for-pound their chemical exposure is greater than an adult’s. The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that babies are 10 to 65 times more vulnerable to cancer-causing chemicals than adults.
We thank you for your leadership and ask you to consider expanding your legislation to cover all cosmetic and personal care products, since women who are pregnant are likely to use soaps, creams, and sunscreens, and it is possible that hazardous chemicals in these products could affect the developing fetus.
NRC for Women & Families strongly supports your legislation, which will help to ensure that parents do not inadvertently harm their children by using cosmetics and personal care products containing hazardous chemicals.
Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D.