Something that recently caught my interest was a report put out by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics - now, to be honest I don't often read up on cosmetics but this report definitely struck a cord. The March 2009 Report, No More Toxic Tub, found that dozens of children's bath products are contaminated with formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane (chemicals found to cause cancer.) It wasn't just one or two small lesser known products, the CSC tested 48 products and had some pretty startling results.
61% of the products tested contained both of these chemicals, 82% contained formaldehyde at levels ranging from 54 to 610 parts per million (ppm) and 67 percent contained 1,4-dioxane at levels ranging from 0.27 to 35 ppm. I will be honest, I am by no means a chemist, but I have to ask, any exposure that is repeatedly administered over a long period via multiple products can't be a good thing, can it? Especially if it can be avoided. And when China pulls your product off the shelves out of concern, well that is saying something (note, they did lift the suspension of the products.)
In looking at the CSC website I found a very cool link to Skin Deep, a database that ranks the safety of products including multiple baby products. The database bills itself as "filling in where companies and the government leave off: companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish, and our government doesn't require companies to test products for safety before they're sold. EWG's scientists built Skin Deep to be a one-of-a-kind resource, integrating our in-house collection of personal care product ingredient listings with more than 50 toxicity and regulatory databases." It is an interesting site that I recommend at least taking a look at.
Like I said earlier, I know as a parent I can't completely take risk out of the equation, but I can take the formaldehyde out of my child's bath.