Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Parabens are tricky. They are in some of our favorite products (including the most delicious baby shampoo on the market), they are mild preservatives that work incredibly well, and the scientific community is somewhat divided as to whether parabens, to the extent used in consumer products, pose a real danger to humans.

Still, for us at Dapple there is one clear and overriding mandate: Keep it Baby Safe. If there is even a small chance that an ingredient could prove dangerous for our babies or yours … we stay far away from it. So we formulated all our products without using parabens.

Here is some background information on parabens so you can make up your own mind:
Parabens are a class of chemicals that are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics and other personal care products. "Parabens inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds in personal-care products such as shampoos, conditioners, deodorants and sunscreens." (Chicago Tribune, 9/4/07)

Parabens are so commonly used that they appear in 25,000 of the cosmetics and skincare products documented by the Environmental Working Group!

Now, some studies have shown that parabens can mimic the activity of estrogen in the body's cells and estrogenic activity in the body is associated with certain forms of breast cancer. In a study conducted by the University of Reading, parabens were found in 18 of 20 breast cancer tumors studied. A recent Danish study showed that when parabens are applied as a cream to the backs of healthy male volunteers, the chemicals can be measured in the blood within hours. This demonstrate that parabens do penetrate the human skin intact. While there is no conclusive evidence that parabens cause cancer, and the FDA does not ban its usage, some of the research is disconcerting.

Here are some more articles about parabens and their possible consequences:

New Scientist

Web MD

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Chicago Tribune

Dr. Weil

Parabens are easy to spot on a label. They are listed as one of four indgredients: methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, or butylparaben.

If you have a question regarding a certain product, you may want to try their customer support line, they are often very helpful. They can direct you as to whether their product contains any parabens.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Helping Haiti

It’s amazing to see how the world is coming together to offer their expertise to the victims in Haiti. Dapple donated to Unicef. If you want to also you can do so here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

1,4 Dioxane

So you know how we always talk about being “free of SLES, 1,4 dioxane, parabens, phthalates, dyes, etc…”

And you are probably thinking “Great. These things sound unsavory. Don’t want them around my kids. But what in the world are they anyhow?”

Over the next several weeks we will be posting a series of blogs about the different toxins and contaminants commonly found in household cleaners and cosmetics and how you can best protect your families from them. We will also be devoting a section of our site to information every parent should know about keeping a healthy, toxin-free home.

Let’s start with 1,4 dioxane.

What is 1,4 dioxane?

The carcinogen 1,4 dioxane can occur as a byproduct of a process called ethoxylation, during which various chemicals are processed with ethylene oxide to make them more soluble and, in the case of personal care products, to make them gentler on people’s skin. 1,4 dioxane is not to be confused with dioxins, a class of chemical contaminants found in soil and sediment and much lower levels found in air and water.

Why do I need to know about 1,4 dioxane?

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics recently published the following report on toxins in children’s care and bath products:


It’s important reading. But it is 32 pages long. So we have summarized it for you.

In this report the CSC found that:

  • 67% percent of baby products tested were found to be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane
  • 1,4 dioxane is a“probable human carcinogen”
  • Here’s the tricky part: since 1,4 dioxane is a by-products and not an actual ingredients, manufacturers are not required to list it on labels

All this is true not only for cosmetics but for household cleaners as well – many of them labeled natural or organic. See http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/DioxaneResults08.cfm

So what can you do to steer clear of 1,4 dioxane?

  • Check Labels. If the label doesn’t specifically mention that the product is free of 1,4 dioxane, check the ingredient list
  • A common list of ingredients contaminated with 1,4 dioxane include: Peg-100 stearate, Sodium laureth sulfate, Polyethylene, Ceteareth-20.
  • Email Your Favorite Brands.Just check in to see if all of their products are clear of 1,4 dioxane
  • And stay tuned for further safety updates from your Dapple Team

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010: The Year To Give

Although the holidays are over, there are still many opportunities to give to children in need. Yael Weiss, a Dapple friend, gave something that CNN featured in its "Giving in Focus" series, and that Yael called "immensely rewarding."

Yael donated breast milk over the course of this past year to an organization called International Breast Milk Project, IBMP.

"They do amazing work in collecting, processing, and donating breast milk to infants in need, both in the U.S. and in Africa. It was an immensely rewarding process to be involved in and I wish more mothers knew about it because it was fairly easy to do. I volunteered to be interviewed by CNN when they chose to feature IBMP in a series called Giving in Focus. Please spread the word to any nursing mommies you know, it is a fantastic organization to support."