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Can regular old baby soap cause your newborn to test positive for smoking the reefer?
A recent study has shown that commonly used baby soaps and shampoos - including products from Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno and CVS - can trigger a positive result on an infant's marijuana screening test.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill noticed a sharp rise in babies testing positive for marijuana exposure and began to investigate.
They found that most of the results could actually be explained by bath-time: small amounts of soap or shampoo were washing off the baby's skin and getting into urine samples.
In particular, Johnson & Johnson’s Bedtime Bath, Johnson & Johnson Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash, Aveeno Baby Wash Shampoo and CVS Night-Time Baby Bath were associated with false positives.
The chemicals polyquaternium 11 and cocamidopropyl betaine, which are found in these soaps, seem to be the triggers, although researchers are not sure why. Less than 0.1 millimeters of the substances is enough to taint test results.
"It's not marijuana in any way, shape or form," said study researcher Catherine Hammett-Stabler, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of North Carolina.
Curiously, the soaps do not cause any other symptoms that would point to marijuana exposure, further baffling scientists as to why they cause positive exposure results.
While the soaps are not thought to be harmful to children, a positive read for a drug test of an infant has serious implications, and can lead to lawsuits and even loss of custody of one’s child.