Bath & Body Works Responds After Viral Post Claims Products Are Linked Infertility And Organ Damage

bath and body works infertility

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Bath and Body Works has addressed a Facebook post shared earlier this week that made several claims about the retailer — including that its products are linked to infertility and organ damage.

Uploaded by a Facebook user on April 18, the post currently has over 102,000 Shares. It cites warnings in a Safety Data Sheet last revised in 2019 for “Bath & Body Works Wallflowers Home Fragrance Refill Winter Candy Apple” that outlines the product is “suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child” and “may cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.”

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Safety Data Sheets “communicate information” on hazards and include information “such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical.”

The now-viral Facebook post also accused Bath & Body Works of paying the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to get positive ratings on its products.

Notably, the post didn’t share any information to back up the latter claim.

“Did you know that Bath & Body Works products are actually not recommended to use while pregnant?” the post reads. “Straight from their safety data sheet it reads ‘suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child’ and ‘may cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.’”

“NO WONDER we have so many women struggling with infertility, hormone disruptions, migraines, thyroid complications…” it’s author added.

The post then highlighted a list of ingredients it claims consumers should avoid when shopping, including triclosan, fragrance, phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde and hydroquinone.

“You need to become your own family’s expert,” the user advised. “Please stop trusting the EWG for their ratings because, as it turns out, companies can PAY for good ratings.”

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In response to the claims, a Bath & Body Works spokesperson told Snopes via email:

Every Bath & Body Works product undergoes extensive review to ensure safety. Safety Data Sheets, like the one in the social media post, do not reflect the safety of products when used as directed. These sheets are a standard practice in the home fragrance and consumer products industry. Bath & Body Works posts these sheets to assist manufacturing companies and emergency personnel who need to know how to handle, store or dispose of large quantities of chemicals in industrial and manufacturing settings. As with any product a customer may use during pregnancy, we encourage them to consult a doctor if they have specific questions. In addition, Bath & Body Works has never paid money to the Environmental Working Group.

The recent conversation surrounding the safety of Bath & Body Works’ products comes after the retailer received online backlash in February for its controversial Black History Month collection.

The EWG also shared a lengthy statement with Snopes regarding the Facebook post’s claims. Read it below:

EWG does not charge a fee for a product to be rated in either our Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database or our Guide to Healthy Cleaners Database. Companies cannot pay to have a better hazard score.

It is unclear why this Facebook post associates EWG with a product that is not ranked in our databases and is an air freshener, a product category we’ve recommended for over a decade that consumers consider avoiding altogether.

EWG has previously conducted tests for airborne pollutants and indoor air quality after using air fresheners and other cleaning products, and we are currently doing another round of product testing to understand how fragranced products like this can potentially impact health.

Our work has and will always put protecting public health first.

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