Baby soaps, shampoos causing newborns to test positive for marijuana exposure
Popular baby soaps and shampoos sold at grocery stores and pharmacies are causing newborns to test positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
The problem came to light when a North Carolina hospital became alarmed when several of its newborns tested positive for marijuana exposure. An investigation into the cause led researchers to an unlikely source – baby soaps and shampoos including ones made by Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno and CVS. The products contain chemicals that can trigger positive THC results in newborns even in trace amounts.
The products include Johnson & Johnson’s Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-time Baby Bath, Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash, and Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo. Researchers believe that the chemicals were found in babies’ urine when they were washed, and not necessarily being ingested or getting into the bloodstream.
Babies are often tested for marijuana exposure at high-risk clinics, and one concern is that the findings may lead some mothers to be falsely accused of exposing their unborn child to marijuana. Researchers say that their findings demonstrate that screens are often plagued by factors that can affect false positives.
The safety of baby soaps and shampoos was raised last fall by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which alleged Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo contains dangerous cancer-causing chemicals. The shampoo contains the chemicals dioxane, considered a likely carcinogen, and quaternium-15, a formaldehyde-releasing agent that is a known carcinogen.
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