Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Baby Soft

There's a product that has been around for 75 years... a name most have heard at some point in their life. Dreft. I hadn't really thought about it, because I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies... and I avoid that aisle in the stores (baby AND laundry aisles, actually), so it took a commercial to make me go HMMMM....

Can't help but notice the PLASTIC diaper...
This here is a product specifically marketed to and targeted at parents of babies. So, then, is it all fresh and natural and not made with lots of chemicals and completely safe? It's been around so long, surely it's safe. Looking at their FAQs, I had to be pleased to see that at least they discourage the use of dryer sheets and softeners. But do you know WHY they say you shouldn't use dryer sheets? Because the use of dryer sheets can cut down on the effectiveness of the flame-retardant that is in baby clothes. (You know what's in flame-retardant? Bad chemicals. Why are we OK with these bad chemicals next to a baby's delicate skin? And why do we have to make babies flame-retardant anyway? Are we smoking around them a lot? Do they frequently burst into little flames? Does anyone ever ask why we need this?? I'm asking now. Please, do inform if you know. I didn't really realize that we had a problem with infants playing with lighters much...)

But I digress. Back to the chemical soup that is Dreft. It's kinda funny to me because they talk a little in circles. They market themselves right off the page. They say how specially formulated Dreft is for babies but how it's OK if you want to keep right on using it on all laundry and it's great for adults, too! Well, which is it?  Am I the only one that sees the double-speak there? NOT TO MENTION that under the FAQ on "powder or liquid" they say that one is great for one thing and the other is great for another thing and they are both great so go ahead and buy both! Umm... wow. Who falls for this??? Apparently, moms everywhere for 75 years fall for it....

They claim Dreft is gentle as water on baby's skin. This made me curious to see exactly what is in this product. Learn with me, will you? Keep in mind, I personally use soap nuts, which are the ultimate in natural. I'll save you the trouble of looking anything up. Here is the list of their ingredients in their "gentle as water" product:

Ingredient Name - Function
Sodium Carbonate - removes water hardness
Sodium Aluminosilicate - removes water hardness
Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate - surfactant
Sodium Sulfate - processing aid
Alkyl Sulfate - surfactant
Water - processing aid
Sodium Polyacrylate  - dispersant
Silicate - processing aid
Sodium Percarbonate  -oxygen bleach
Ethoxylate - surfactant
Polyethylene Glycol 4000  -stabilizer
Fragrance - fragrance, Click Here To Learn More (GGW says - I'll list that below)
Disodium Diaminostilbene Disulfonate - fluorescent brightener
Protease - enzyme (stain remover)
Silicone  - suds suppressor

I don't know. Personally, the thought of putting something that I can't pronounce on the super-absorbent skin of an infant is a bit abhorrent to me. But that's just me. I don't have kids, so I could be wrong. Sulfates? Benzene?? Surfactant AND suds suppressor??? Which is it?? And I was GOING TO list the chemicals from which they choose to make their pleasing scents, and undoubtedly that "baby-smell" people mention (never been one for it myself), but the think is THIRTEEN PAGES!!! So here's the link:  That is the list of chemicals that their "perfumers select from". It's kind of staggering. 13 pages in really really small print, 2 columns, big words.

Now, it's your kid and I don't care what you do. Actually, that's a lie. I do care what you do. 'Cuz this stuff runs out and off into MY environment too. And, call me crazy, but I don't like to see kids with cancer. I just don't. When I see all these chemicals, and the population growing as it does, and the population using more and more of these chemicals, I cannot help but suspect a cause and effect. Is it just me?

So they've been around 70 years. Maybe it's time to stop? We aren't getting better or healthier. We are getting more cancer, more obese, more developmental problems. Are those the fault of Dreft? Of course not. But we need to stop with these chemicals. Stop. Nature gives us everything we need. We do not need 13 pages of chemicals to smell fake-good. Just stop.

Oh - Dreft is from our friends at Proctor & Gamble. And you know how much THEY care about their bottom line - er - I mean OUR HEALTH! Yeah, that's it.