Fact Check

Viral Post Makes Claim About Bath & Body Works and Infertility

A Facebook post outlined several claims about the safety of some of the company's products.

Published Apr 20, 2022

SELINSGROVE, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES - 2022/04/14: A Bath & Body Works store is seen inside the Susquehanna Valley Mall. (Photo by Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) (Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Image Via Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Bath & Body Works' products can cause infertility and damage to organs, and are not recommended for use while pregnant.

We are aware of the viral Facebook post about Bath & Body Works and the claim that the company's products purportedly cause infertility and damage to organs. The post also mentions, without evidence, that favorable ratings from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) can be purchased. As with all of our reporting, we are taking time to find the facts. We reached out to both Bath & Body Works and the EWG with questions, and will update this story with more details after concluding our research into the matter.

Fact Check

On April 18, 2022, a Facebook post was created as a warning, claiming that Bath & Body Works products can purportedly cause infertility and damage to organs. It referenced a "safety data sheet" for one product, listed as "Bath & Body Works Wallflowers Home Fragrance Refill Winter Candy Apple." Safety data sheets are a type of document described as a "hazard communication standard" by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The post also appeared to claim, without evidence, that companies like Bath & Body Works pay the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to obtain favorable ratings for its products. Examples of some of these ratings are available on the EWG website.

By email, a Bath & Body Works spokesperson provided the following statement in response to the post:

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 original post appeared like this:

A viral Facebook post appeared to claim that Bath & Body Works products cause infertility and damage to organs and referenced a safety data sheet and also said that EWG ratings are purchased.

Source: Facebook

The viral Facebook post about Bath & Body Works with the claim about infertility was on track to be shared more than 100,000 times. It read as follows:

Hi ??

Jillian here with some not so fun, unpopular and frightening news.

Did you know that Bath & Body works products are actually not recommended to use while pregnant? Yeah, neither did I because I never thought to read their safety data sheets. Like oh, if it’s on the shelves it must be OK for the human body, right? No. Not right. Straight from their safety data sheet it reads and I quote, “suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child” and, “may cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.” I’m sorry, come again??? The products that have been US glorified FOR YEARS because “they smell good” or, “they have the best candles” have a warning label that use could harm an unborn child, a woman’s hormones AND their organs? And once again I’m reminded that the world doesn’t keep spinning and generate revenue if you and I are healthy. #isaidwhatisaid

There are multiple ingredients you should be looking for when determining whether a product should be on your shelf at home or not. ? Butelyne Glycol ? Isopropyl Alcohol ?Tetrasodium EDTA ? BHT ? Disodium EDTA ? Diazolidinyl Urea ? Methylparaben & Propylparaben Ceterareth-20 ? “Fragrance”.

Here’s the safety data sheet link to see the deets for yourself. https://www.bathandbodyworks.com/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-master-catalog/default/dw8adf230f/sds/24567958_SDS_400000001707.pdf

As I’ve always said, you need to become your own families expert. And please, stop trusting the EWG for their ratings for because as it turns out, companies can PAY for good ratings. EWG is just as sideways as FDA regulations.

? drop.

We would like to let our readers know that we are aware of this viral post about Bath & Body Works and are looking into the social media claims that the company's products can potentially cause infertility and damage to organs. We are also seeking answers regarding the post's claim that favorable ratings can be purchased from the EWG.

As with all of our reporting, finding the truth behind rumors can take time. We contacted Bath & Body Works about the rumors of infertility, damage to organs, and other claims made in the post. Their statement is printed near the beginning of this article. We also reached out to the EWG and are looking for more data on the various aspects of the post. This article will be updated when we have concluded our research.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.