Are Bath Bombs Safe? – 5 Things You Should Know

No one could possibly deny the sheer pleasure of sitting in a nice warm relaxing and fizzy bath.

Bath bombs are a great way to create this inviting and relaxing environment, or are they?

Read on to find out…

Many of today’s bath bombs contain a range of natural oils that will nourish your skin.

They also contain a number of chemicals, colors, and fragrances that can turn your bathwater into a rainbow festival of glitter and wonder.

Who Invented The Bath Bomb?

While there are many different brands of bath bomb on the market today, a woman by the name of Mira Constantine is credited with inventing the first bath bomb in 1989.

At the time, she was working for the Lush beauty brand as a “Saturday Girl” showing off and selling their products.

Today, her idea has been copied and replicated by many companies around the world.

Over the last decade numerous reports of complaints and medical issues have put bath bombs in a bad light.

It has also led many people to ask the question, “Are bath bombs safe”?

What Are the Risks Associated with Bath Bombs?

While there are many very high-quality brands of bath bomb on the market today that are known to be perfectly safe, there are just as many, if not more, that contain chemicals that have been found to be harmful.

Synthetic Scents & Frangrance

While the word scent or fragrance may seem relatively innocent, the reality is that the vast majority of synthetic scents are considered to be one of the most toxic components found in today’s bath products.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, approximately 95 percent of all chemicals used in the manufacture of synthetic fragrances come from crude oil.

The list of these chemicals is very long and contains:

  • Acetone
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Benzyl
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Camphor
  • Ethanol
  • Ethyl acetate
  • Limolene
  • Linalool
  • Methylene Chloride
  • And many others

Health Problems Related To Synthetic Scents

Of these chemicals, many are known to be endocrine disruptors including phthalates.

These chemicals can create a range of hormonal issues in humans and can also increase a person’s risk of major diseases such as breast cancer, infertility, type 2 diabetes, and many others.

What is worse, the time between your exposure to these chemicals and the development of any symptoms can take decades.

Babies and young children who are exposed to these types of fragrances are especially susceptible to a range of medical issues, as are babies who are still developing in their mother’s womb.

How to Identify Harmful Synthetic Scents

When you are looking at the ingredients of your bath bombs, look for words like fragrance, fragrance oil blends, or fragrance oils.

These are generally blanket terms covering any combination of 3,000 or more toxic chemicals.

Such ingredients have been scientifically linked to a number of medical conditions such as:

  • Cancer
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Respiratory irritation
  • Allergies

One of the more common ingredients found in many of these synthetic fragrances is Acetaldehyde.

This chemical has been linked to cancer in humans and is known to have an adverse effect on the nervous system, kidneys, and respiratory system.

The good news is that there are a number of bath bombs available that contain natural fragrances or make use of synthetic fragrances that do not contain these types of chemicals.

Synthetic Food Colors

One of the best parts of tossing a bath bomb into your bath is the wide range of colors you can choose from right?

The bad news is that synthetic food colorings may look pretty, but they have long since been proven to be less than beneficial for your health whether you ingest them (think red Kool-Aid) or you soak in a bathtub filled with them.

What Studies On Synthetic Colors Reveal

In 2013, a study was published in Slovakia regarding the absorption of triphenylmethane dyes.

In this particular study, Brilliant Blue and Patent Blue dyes were used. The study found that the skin, and mucous membranes can actually absorb significant amounts of these harmful dyes.

Once the dyes are absorbed by the skin, they then pass directly into the bloodstream, instead of being detoxified by your liver or destroyed by the acids in your stomach.

Many of the dyes used in bath bombs have been linked directly to allergic reactions and ADHD symptoms in children. According to further research done in Rochester, they have also been linked to autism in children.

The previous findings are only the beginning as some of the many synthetic dyes that have been found to contain substances known to cause cancer.

Others contain chemicals that have been linked to neuron damage and an increased risk of brain cancer.

Some yellow dyes even have the potential to increase your risk of kidney and/or adrenal cancers.

Resulting In Vaginal Infections

Despite the fact your bath bombs might be making your skin feel wonderful on the outside, they could be causing an entirely different problem on the inside.

Your vagina contains a huge supply of “good” bacteria whose job it is to keep the pH at a very healthy 4 to 4.5 on the pH scale.

When you toss that bath bomb in the water, you are at serious risk of upsetting this carefully maintained balance.

Once this balance is upset, it can create the perfect opportunity for the growth of “bad” bacteria, which in turn can lead to a serious UTI (urinary tract infection).

At the same time, if your bath bomb contains glitter, it never dissolves, but it definitely can find its way inside where it certainly does not belong and cause even more problems.

If you use bath bombs full of artificial fragrances and dyes, you also put yourself at risk of more frequent and serious yeast infections.

Connection With Ovarian Cancer

Many popular bath bombs contain talcum powder that is made from the naturally occurring mineral, talc.

When they are dropped in your bath water and you sit down, you give the talc a golden opportunity to freely enter your body via your vagina.

Studies that first began way back in the 1970s have linked talk to an increased risk of ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and many other types of cancer.

To make matters worse, some forms of natural talc have been found to contain asbestos.

This substance has long since been proven to be a major carcinogenic.

All talc products that are intended to be used in the U.S. have been free of asbestos since the 1970s.

This is why knowing the source of where your bath bomb talc was produced makes a difference.

How Harmful Are The Glitters?

Many bath bombs contain glitter that adds sparkle to your bath water.

This might look wonderfully inviting, but then you realize that much of this glitter is made from microplastics that are not compostable.

This means they will never break down and return to their natural state.

While this does not pose a direct threat to humans, it does have a very direct impact on aquatic life.

Fish and other sea creatures ingest these tiny glitter “pellets.”

It might seem to some individuals that since the use of glitter only affects aquatic wildlife it shouldn’t be a major concern.

Consider the fact that many of these animals end up as part of our food chain, or being food for something else that is in turn destined to be part of our diet.

Bath Bomb Recipe Options & Ingredients

Your best bet, if you have to have a bath bomb is to seek out do-it-yourself recipes. Many recipes online contain natural ingredients that are known to be safe.

Most homemade bath bomb recipes contain:

  • Baking soda
  • Epsom salts
  • Corn starch
  • Citric acid (lemon or lime juice)
  • Coconut oil
  • Water
  • Essential oil for scent
  • Natural food coloring
  • Biodegradable flower petals or glitter

Other Bath Bomb Alternatives

You might also consider adding scent to your bath with candles or incense.

The soft light from one or more candles can add to the relaxing environment.

You can also find a number of recipes for ways to add natural fizz to your bathwater.

Do you want brightly colored bath water? Why not try submersible LED lights?

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

If you simply cannot give up your bath bombs, be sure to look for those that do not contain talc, or synthetic dyes.

The best way to ensure you can enjoy a nice relaxing bath is to simply pay close attention to anything you plan to add to the water.

Instead look for natural occurring fragrances.

Not only will you be able to enjoy the perfect bath, but your body is sure to appreciate the fact you have chosen a safer and healthier option.

Dee is a health conscious mom, and wife who loves to write when she isn't at the gym.
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