Baby Soap Alert

06.19.12 The infant staple is being linked to positive marijuana tests in newborns.


A new study is raising red flags about the use of popular baby soaps on newborns after an increase in the number of newborns testing positive for marijuana, which prompted research and a more thorough investigation, reports.

According to the MSNBC article, "urine samples that contained minute amounts of any five baby soaps — Johnson & Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, J&J Bedtime Bath, CVS Nighttime Baby Bath, Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Wash Shampoo — gave a positive result on a drug screening test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana."

Researchers say the "amount of soap in the urine needed to produce a positive result was tiny, less than 0.1 milliliters," MSNBC reports. The findings, published in the June issue of the journal Clinical Biochemistry, emphasize that the baby soaps "do not produce a 'high' or any other effects of marijuana in infants."

Nurses at a North Carolina hospital first reported the rising number of positive tests in newborns, which sparked the investigation by researchers. It's being taken very seriously by researchers because a screening test "that indicates a baby has been exposed to marijuana can lead to involvement of social services and accusations of child abuse," MSNBC reports.

"We really did this to help protect families from being falsely accused of drug use," says study researcher and pediatrician Carl Seashore, M.D., of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as quoted by MSNBC.

Researchers are still unclear why the soaps are triggering positive marijuana tests, only noting that some of the compounds in the products have a structure that is similar to THC, "or it could be that the chemicals in the soap change the way the test works." The test came back negative when a more sensitive test was used on the urine samples with soap that first registered positive for marijuana. It's important to know the ingredients of the products you use — especially when expecting and beyond. Check out our Baby Skin Care page on becoming a label sleuth when it comes to the products you put on your skin plus baby's skin.