A group of Spanish chemists (University of Santiago de Compostela) has recently developed and published a method to quantify the fragrance allergens found in baby bath products. The researchers have analyzed real samples and detected up to 15 allergen compounds in cosmetics and personal hygiene items currently being sold for use with infants.
A team of scientists from the Department of Analytical Chemistry at this university has developed a method to detect and quantify the 15 most common fragrance allergens included in soap, gel, cologne and other personal hygiene categories.
Dr. María Llompart, co-author, said: "Applying the method to eight real samples obtained from the daily baths of a series of babies aged between six months and two years old, we discovered the presence of all the compounds under study in at least one of the samples." The study was published this month in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.
The scientists point to at least six dangerous compounds that were seen in all the samples. In some cases, concentrations were "extremely high", exceeding 100ppm (parts per million). Some of these substances were benzyl salicylate, linalol, coumarin and hydroxycitronellal.
"The presence and levels of these chemical agents in bathwater should be cause for concern," Llompart said, "bearing in mind that babies spend up to 15 minutes or more a day playing in the bath and that they can absorb these and other chemicals not only through their skin, but also by inhalation and often ingestion, intentional or not."