21 August 2006

Lavender and tea tree oils: may be unsafe for babies

Lisa's got eagle eyes:

just saw the following from the Washington Post, which made me think of the "natural insect repellent" hack from a few weeks back. Sounds like it'd be best to avoid lavender and tea tree with babies, especially boys.

"A preliminary finding presented at the Endocrine Society's conference last month could prompt parents to read product labels more closely. The unpublished research suggests that shampoos, soaps and body lotions containing lavender and tea tree oils -- commonly added for their aromas and marketing cachet -- may cause hormonal imbalances and breast growth in young boys..." [Read the full article.]

Thank you so much for passing this along.

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Scary! I use lavender and chamomile baby bath for my little boy... time to rethink it perhaps?

its not just bug repellant. I've seen these these "skin care" specialist pushing this snake oil for just about everything. see example at

Isn't time to fund some science in this country, or do we just wait for the lawsuits to pile up ?

Just a heads up about tea tree oil. I think the stuff is pretty great--on other people! (I use it on my husband all the time!) It's often promoted as a safe, non-irritating thing. But in a very few people, myself included, it causes a terrible rash (even when using the types that have the highest refinement ratings). A good reminder that allergies can come from any product. I plan not to use it on my baby girl until she's a few years old just in case she has inherited this from mom!

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