First, What Is Lanolin?
Lanolin is a waxy substance that coats a sheep’s fur, keeping it moist and protecting its skin. After a sheep has been shorn, a waxy substance called sebum is left on the fur, which comes from the animal’s sebaceous glands – just like human skin produces oil – and is affected by hormone production.
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Why Do So Many Mom's Not Want To Use It?
Sheep that are conventionally farmed in the U.S. for wool are typically not raised organic. The largest concern regarding lanolin is that many sheep are 'dipped' or sprayed directly with pesticides to treat mites and other pests. In addition, harvested fur may again be treated with pesticides during refinement. Lanolin can legally contain up to 40 parts per million (ppm) of pesticides to be FDA-compliant (regulations vary annually). However, lanolin that is reserved for hospital use on open wounds is regulated to no more than 3ppm of pesticides.
Not only that, but sheep may also be given GMO supplements. GMOs are endocrine disruptors which can, in turn, affect the lanolin that sheep secrete.