Johnson & Johnson to Remove Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Baby Shampoo, But Will You Switch Back?

Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo

No more tears for our babies, but plenty to come for Johnson & Johnson

Following concerns raised by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics over the course of several years, Johnson & Johnson has pledged they will finally get around to removing carcinogens and other toxic chemicals from its products around the world, including its baby shampoo — in a few years. By 2015, to be exact.

Gee, thanks, and thanks from my baby, too, Johnson & Johnson. Um, by the way, did you want us to just wait over here in the bathtub with the cancer-causing ingredients in your baby shampoo until you get around to switching it out?

Knowing the company sat on these products with the harmful ingredients for as long as they did — and you just might have used some of them yourself or on your children, is it too little, too late? Will you switch back?

It’s hard to imagine a product that has been around for generations and has literally touched so many children in such a potentially harmful way could ever permanently wash the stigma of that harm down the drain.

The company plans to reformulate its hundreds of cosmetics and personal care products to:

  • Reduce 1,4 dioxane to a maximum of 10 parts per million in adult products;
  • Phase out formaldehyde-releasers in adult products;
  • Limit parabens in adult products to methyl-, ethyl- and propyl-;
  • Complete phase-out of triclosan from all products;
  • Phase out Diethyl Phthalate (DEP) from all products (no other phthalates are currently used);
  • Phase out polycyclic musks, animal derived ingredients, tagates, rose crystal and diacetyl from fragrances.

According to a press release from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:

Both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane cause cancer in animals, and formaldehyde was recently classified as a known human carcinogen by the U.S. National Toxicology Program. Phthalates, parabens, triclosan and polycyclic musks are all considered to be likely hormone disruptors and have been linked to a variety of health problems ranging from birth defects to diabetes, obesity and breast cancer.

It’s not as if Johnson & Johnson wasn’t aware of the problem — consumer advocacy groups have been meeting with them at least as far back as 2009 to discuss the issue. But ending it all only by 2015 is the best they can do? Maybe so, but there are likely plenty of parents who can do better, and buy better for their kids, now and in 2015. And beyond.

But here’s the really disgusting part: While we’ve been getting the carcinogen version of the Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo and other products here in the United States, other countries have been getting the same products carcinogen-free, according to Jezebel. Which means they have to reformulate nothing because they already know how to do it.

Simply disgusting.

No more tears? Maybe for our babies now that we know to walk away and never look back, but certainly not for Johnson & Johnson’s bottom line.

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