Posts Tagged ‘ shampoo ’

Johnson & Johnson to Change Shampoo Formula Amid Carcinogen Concerns

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Johnson & Johnson, the company that makes the iconic Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and other products for babies and children, has announced plans to remove potentially carcinogenic chemicals from its shampoo formulas.

Since 2009, when the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report identifying traces of formaldehyde in a number of cosmetic products, including Johnson’s baby shampoo, the debate has escalated over whether government regulation of toxic chemicals in consumer products is sufficient.  This past June, the U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program officially identified formaldehyde as a carcinogen, renewing the urgency of the debate.

This week, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a new report, stating that Johnson & Johnson had removed the formaldehyde-releasing preservative quaternium-15, as well as the chemical byproduct 1,4-dioxane, from their products in some countries, but not in the United States.  Parents who wish to avoid these chemicals in the U.S. have to purchase Johnson’s “Naturals” line, which costs more than the standard shampoo formula.

Forbes.com reports that although the Johnson & Johnson has not stated a definitive timeline for removing the chemicals from their products in the U.S., the company did release a statement pledging to phase them out entirely:

When Johnson & Johnson caught wind of the report, they contacted the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and got to work on a statement, indicating that they are in the process of phasing the formaldehyde-releasing preservative out of their baby products, worldwide.

“The preservative technologies we use are safe and approved by authorities in the European Union and in the United States, as well as in China and India, and we have not seen any evidence of allergy in hundreds of millions of real life uses of these products,” the statement reads. “However, we know that some consumers are concerned about formaldehyde, which is why we offer many products without formaldehyde releasing preservatives, and are phasing out these types of preservatives in our baby products worldwide.  We are no longer introducing new baby products that contain these types of preservatives. Over the past few years or so, we already have reduced the number of formulations globally with formaldehyde releaser preservatives by 33% and in the U.S. by over 60%.”

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics urges parents to avoid products containing ingredients that may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, including sodium myreth sulfate, PEG compounds and chemicals that include the clauses “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth.” Parents should also avoid products that contain formaldehye-releasing preservatives, including quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea.

(image via: http://www.instyle.com)

 

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Formaldehyde Identified as a Carcinogen

Monday, June 13th, 2011

The U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program released a report on June 10 identifying formaldehyde, the laboratory preservative that is also used in products from shampoos to furniture, as a human carcinogen.

According to the Report on Carcinogens (RoC), “Prior editions of the RoC had listed formaldehyde as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, and following a rigorous scientific review, formaldehyde is now reassigned to the category known to be a human carcinogen.”

This news may be of concern to parents because of its common presence in home building materials from kitchen cabinets to nursery furniture that’s made with pressboard and particleboard (the resins used to hold these boards together commonly contain formaldehyde.).  In 2009, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report identifying traces of formaldehyde in a number of cosmetic products as well, including Johnson’s iconic baby shampoo.  There is some debate over this claim, and particularly over the levels of exposure a child would have from any given shampoo or soap product.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics lists cosmetic ingredients that are chemical markers for formaldehyde:

Avoid using products that list ingredients that may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, including sodium myreth sulfate, PEG compounds and chemicals that include the clauses “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth.” Similarly, avoid products that contain formaldehye-releasing preservatives, including quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea.

And parents who want to avoid exposure from furniture products, can start by following these recommendations from the RoC:

Use lower-emitting pressed wood products, such as those that are labeled CARB (California Air Resources Board) Phase 1 or Phase 2 compliant, or made with ULEF (ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde) or NAF (no-added formaldehyde) resins.

Ask manufacturers about products.

Increase ventilation, particularly after bringing new sources of formaldehyde into the home.  Open windows and use fans to bring in fresh air.

Use air conditioning and dehumidifiers to maintain moderate temperature and reduce humidity levels.

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