Source: Happi Magazine; Vol. 46, No. 6; June 2009
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York recently introduced the Safe Baby Products Act, which would direct the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate and regulate hazardous contaminants in personal care products marketed to or used by children.
Sen. Gillibrand-who was appointed to fill the vacancy created when Senator Hillary Clinton became U.S. Secretary of State-introduced the bill in response to a study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which revealed that many widely used baby shampoos and bubble baths contain formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, which may be hazardous in certain quantities. The chemicals are not listed on labels because contaminants are exempt from labeling laws.
The campaign also recently sent a letter to Johnson & Johnson asking the company by the end of August to reformulate its personal care products so that they are free of 1,4-dioxane and preservatives that release formaldehyde.
The Safe Baby Products Act would direct FDA to test a wide range of children’s personal care products, publicly report the findings and establish good manufacturing practices to reduce or eliminate hazardous contaminants from products.
“We applaud Sen. Gillibrand for being a champion for children’s health,” said Lisa Archer, national coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
“This bill is a good step forward, because it would give parents the right to know what’s in the bath products they use on their kids, and would give FDA authority to keep dangerous chemicals out of children’s bath products. Next, we need to overhaul cosmetics laws so the FDA can fully assess and assure the safety of all personal care products.”
The campaign released its test results in March. At that time, Dr. John Bailey, chief scientist for the Personal Care Products Council, said the “extremely low” levels of chemicals in the products tested “are not a cause for health concern.”
The Explosion of narcotic and alcohol abuse in the USA has been accompanied by a surge of premature cocaine-exposed babies who often suffer post-natal complications and exhibit poor co-ordination and motor skills along with increased stress behaviour during infancy. Researchers at the department of Pediatrics at the University Miami School of Medicine studied the effects of massage on thirty cocaine-exposed premature babies who were randomly assigned to receive massage therapy or placed in a control group as soon as they were considered medically stable.
The fifteen babies in the treatment group received three 15 minute massages over a period of three consecutive hours each day for ten days. All the babies were monitored as to weight gain, post natal complications and motor skills and compared with the babies in the control group.
The researchers found that the massage group showed significant improvements over the control group. At the end of the ten day period the babies who received massage averaged 28% greater weight gain per day (33g as opposed to 26g in the control group) even thought the dietary volume and calorific intakes were the same in both groups. The babies in the massage group also showed significantly fewer post-natal complications and stress behaviours than the control group, and they also demonstrated more mature motor skills,
This study gives a fascinating insight into the physiological benefits of massage therapy for premature cocaine exposed babies. It seems that ass little as 3 fifteen minute sessions of massage over a period of ten days can make a dramatic difference to a baby’s development and effectively reduce the main problems associated with cocaine exposure. The study indicates that massage therapy may have an increasingly significant role to play in paediatric medicine.
Wheeden A; Scafidi FA; Field T; Ironson G; Valdeon C; Bandstra E. Massage effects on cocaine-exposed pre-term neonates. Department of paediatrics, university of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33101. Journal of Developmental Behavioural Pediatrics (United Sates) Oct. 1993, 14: 5: 318-22