Johnson & Johnson Harming Babies?

by on February 24th, 2011
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Johnson & Johnson just seems to be making matters worse as now a report of two chemicals considered harmful to babies has been reported in their baby shampoo sold in the United States, however, the company is now making versions without these chemicals this according to an international coalition of health and environmental groups.

Imploring the company for two and half years to remove trace amounts of potentially causing cancer chemicals; dioxane and quaternium-15 which releases formaldehyde is the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics who have been unsuccessful in their efforts.

Now they are advising consumers to refrain from using the company’s products until they agree to remove these chemicals from its line of baby products sold worldwide.

Johnson & Johnson has stated it is decrease or slowly phasing out these chemicals however, they are not directly responding to the campaign.

Director for the Campaign of Safe Cosmetics, Lisa Archer, stated “Johnson & Johnson clearly can make safer baby shampoo in all the markets around the world, but it’s not doing it,” She further remarks it is a double standard but something the company can easily fix.

According to Archer, the group has met with the representatives for the company three times since the spring of 2009. The group is disappointed that the company is not manufacturing safer products for the United States when they do outside the U.S.

The report from this campaign “Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic’ is ready to be released today along with the group’s launch of the boycott through its website .

Just yesterday the campaign had sent the company a letter which had been signed by around 25 environmental, medical and other groups who roughly represent 3.5 million people in the United States and other countries. This letter is strongly encouraging the company to commit by November 15, publicly that they will remove chemicals from all of their personal care products worldwide.

As we are aware from past experience with the company they always have a response. This time in a statement they had stated the formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are safe and have been approved by U.S. and other countries regulators. They further stated that they are decreasing the level of dioxane below detectable levels. However, there was no mention if they would respond to the full demands from the campaign.

The letter had been addressed to the companies CEO William Weldon and to no surprise had been signed by groups such as Breast Cancer Fund, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Working Group, American Nurses Association, Green America and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

The report which was obtained by the Associated Press, had noted that the chemicals in question, quaternium-15 is a preservative which smothers bacteria through releasing formaldehyde. It is a known fact that formaldehyde is used as a disinfectant and embalming fluid and has been declared as a known human carcinogen just this past June by the U.S. National Toxicology Program. This chemical is also a known irritant to eyes, skin and respiratory.

The May 2009 report by the campaign titled ‘No More Toxic Tub” noted the studies where done by an independent laboratory it hired, Analytical Sciences LLC based in Petaluma, California. This laboratory had discovered that 1,4 dioxane was contained in the company’s products; J & J Baby Shampoo, Moisture Care Baby Wash, Oatmeal Baby Wash and Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash.

Since that time the company had promoted the baby shampoo Johnson’s Naturals to be sold in the United States minus the 1,4 dioxane. However, the campaign does note that the original baby shampoo still has not been reformulated.

Dr. Tracey J. Woodruff, PhD, director and associate professor of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of California San Francisco and not part of the campaign notes that the chemicals in the shampoo adds the chemicals a baby is exposed to each day.

Dr. Woodruff further states that there is evidence that formaldehyde is linked with lung, nose and blood cancers such as leukemia. She remarks that a baby’s scalp is more absorbent than an adult’s an exposure to these chemicals may cause more harm in babies than adults.

Ms. Archer noted an interesting fact of these chemicals, that there are some countries where the products do not contain them due to some countries placing a ban on those chemicals but some had no such ban.

Maybe organic baby shampoos are a solution to conventional shampoos where all the chemicals which are placed Many conventional shampoos do contain synthetic chemicals that are known carcinogens, irritants and allergens. Some of them are toxic to organs.

These shampoos are causing great concerns since they are being used on infants and children.

Due to the overwhelming concerns of these chemicals some parents are now going organic. They are applied just like your conventional baby shampoo but leave on for at least one minute due to the cleaning chemicals in organics which are milder causing them to take awhile to be absorbed.


CBS News

Huffington Post

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