美國消費產品安全委員會說，「即使是微量汙染物，1,4二氧雜環己烷的存在已讓大家憂心。」紐約州參議員吉力布蘭德(Kirsten Gillibrand)已要求美國食品藥物管理局（U.S. Food and Drug Administration，FDA）調查針對嬰兒和孩童銷售之個人護理產品的污染物。「作為兩個孩童的母親，我期望我家所使用的嬰兒和兒童產品是安全的。我無法接受FDA未如同其規範食品藥物般地管制個人護理產品。」她說。
Dozens of children's shampoos and bath products contain the cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, according to product test results released by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The chemicals are not disclosed on product labels because they are exempt from labeling laws, the organization says.
This study is the first to document the widespread presence of both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in bath products for children. Many products tested for this study contained both ot the chemicals.
Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known to cause cancer in animals and are listed as probable human carcinogens by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which points out that babies are far more sensitive to carcinogens than adults. Formaldehyde also can trigger skin rashes in some children.
"Given the recent data showing that formaldehyde and the formaldehyde-releasing preservative, quaternium-15, are significant sensitizers and causal agents of contact dermatitis in children, it would be prudent to have these removed from children's products," said Sharon Jacob, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of California San Diego and contact dermatitis specialist at Rady Children's Hospital.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that "the presence of 1,4-dioxane, even as a trace contaminant, is cause for concern."
Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York has demanded that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigate contaminants in personal care products marketed for babies and young children. "As a mother of two young children, I expect the baby and child products my family uses to be safe," she said. "I find it to be unacceptable that the FDA does not regulate personal care products, as it does food and drugs."
In a statement today, the FDA said it has not established or recommended a specific limit on the level of 1,4-dioxane in cosmetics. "The trace levels in cosmetics are extremely low, they are present in products that are only in brief contact with the skin, and the compound evaporates quickly," the agency said.
"We have provided guidance to manufacturers alerting them to the health concerns and how to minimize 1,4-dioxane by means of a process called 'vacuum stripping' at the end of the polymerization process," the agency said. "We provide FDA inspectors with information on this procedure in our publicly available Guide to Inspections of Cosmetic Product Manufacturers so that when they conduct inspections they will know what to look for and what questions to ask."
"If FDA were to determine that a health hazard exists, it would advise the industry and the public, and would consider its legal options for protecting the health and welfare of consumers," the agency said.
The Personal Care Products Council, an industry group, says the allegations that commonly used baby products are contaminated with harmful levels of carcinogenic chemicals "are patently false and a shameful and cynical attempt by an activist group to incite and prey upon parental worries and concerns in order to push a political, legislative and legal agenda."
"When present," the council said, "these chemicals would likely be found at very low levels precisely because companies have gone to great lengths in the formulation and manufacturing processes to ensure that the products are safe and gentle for children and also protected from harmful bacterial growth."
"Contrary to their attempt to position this report as something new and scientifically noteworthy, there is nothing revelatory or scientifically objective in it," said Dr. John Bailey, chief scientist for the Personal Care Products Council.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, an independent panel of scientific and medical experts who assess the safety of ingredients used in U.S. cosmetic and personal care products, and other authoritative bodies throughout the world have long been aware of the potential presence of 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde in personal care products and found them to be safe when present at low levels," Bailey said.
Still, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics' report has triggered alarm around the world. The governments of China and Vietnam are conducting their own safety tests on some baby bath products found to be contaminated with formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.
Some major Chinese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese retailers have pulled these products from their shelves, although U.S. retailers have not. The Israeli Health Ministry has stated that U.S. baby products with carcinogenic contaminants are not sold in Israel.
The European Union has banned 1,4-dioxane from personal care products and has recalled products found to contain the chemical. Formaldehyde is banned from personal care products in Japan and Sweden, and restricted in the European Union and Canada.
"Once again, the U.S. is lagging when it comes to protecting children's health," said Lisa Archer of the Breast Cancer Fund and coordinator of the Campaign. "The lack of safety standards in the U.S. is disadvantaging American companies. We need updated laws to ensure that American products meet the highest bar of safety and are free of toxic chemicals."