Multiple baby soaps or washes, used on newborn’s, have been found to cause the baby to test positive for marijuana on some newborn screening tests.
The new study revealed that the use of 5 soaps, Johnson and Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, J&J Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-Time Baby Bath, Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Wash Shampoo, gave a positive result for the active ingredient in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
The researcher’s, who looked into the positive tests after nurses at a North Carolina hospital reported high amounts of babies testing positive for the drug, wanted to make sure people knew the babies were not getting a “high” because of the soap.
“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, Chapel Hill.
Newborn screening for exposure to marijuana is common, and is especially recommended for babies born to women considered to be “high risk” for drug use, such as those who do not come in for prenatal care visits, Hammett-Stabler said.
Hammett-Stabler said they did the research because a baby suspected of being exposed to marijuana could have extreme consequences for the parents, such as the involvement of social services, and accusations of child abuse.
“We really did this to help protect families from being falsely accused,” and to help ensure that intervention efforts are directed to babies who are truly at risk of drug exposure, said study researcher Dr. Carl Seashore, a pediatrician in the newborn nursery at UNC Chapel Hill.
Hammett-Stabler says the research has found that the most likely reason for the positive results is due to compounds used in the soap’s that may give a false positive and are washed into the baby’s urine sample when it is taken.
The research should when a more sensitive test was used the soap failed to give the positive result. And recommended that all tests be further confirmed before action is taken.