The Daily Mail is reporting that Johnson and Johnson the maker of baby products has been selling baby shampoo that has some chemicals that are either known to be carcinogenic, or are known to break down into carcinogenic chemicals. That sort of sucks if it’s true.
It seems the company makes a similar product for babies in other countries but it is without these harmful substances! Here is the story:
The disputed ingredients are dioxane and a substance called quaternium-15 that releases formaldehyde. Formaldehyde was declared a known human carcinogen in June by the U.S. National Toxicology Program. It is also a skin, eye and respiratory irritant.
Johnson & Johnson has said it is reducing or gradually phasing out the chemicals.
Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, said: ‘Johnson & Johnson clearly can make safer baby shampoo in all the markets around the world, but it’s not doing it.’
The campaign’s new report, ‘Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic’, was released today via its website at http://www.safecosmetics.org.
The updated report was based on an examination of label ingredients for Johnson & Johnson baby products in 13 countries.
On Monday, the campaign sent Johnson & Johnson a letter, signed by 25 groups representing about 3.5 million people in the U.S. It urges the company to commit publicly by November 15 to removing the chemicals from all personal care products worldwide.
In response, Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are safe and approved by regulators in the U.S. and other countries, but that it is gradually phasing them out of its baby products.
It said it is also reformulating baby products to reduce the level of dioxane below detectable levels. But it did not say whether it would respond to or meet the campaign’s full demands.
The baby shampoo also contains a second chemical, 1,4-dioxane, which is considered a likely carcinogen. It is a byproduct of a process for making chemicals more soluble and gentler on the skin.
The campaign’s May 2009 report said studies by an independent laboratory it hired, Analytical Sciences LLC, found 1,4-dioxane in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Oatmeal Baby Wash, Moisture Care Baby Wash and Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash.
Miss Archer noted that some of the countries where the products did not contain the chemicals had bans on them in personal care products, but others didn’t.
According to the updated report, the company has since launched a baby shampoo called Johnson’s Naturals, sold in the U.S., that does not include 1,4-dioxane.
But original Johnson’s baby shampoo, which costs about half as much, has not been reformulated for the U.S. market, according to the campaign.