Johnson & Johnson Finally Removing Harsh Chemicals from Baby Products

Johnson & Johnson Cleans Up via Babble.comWe’ve all heard the stories of Johnson & Johnson products. That they use formaldehyde, that they make safer options for companies overseas, that their Naturals line isn’t all that natural. Yet still — their products are among the most popular to use on children.

Today, Johnson & Johnson announced their commitment to change their formulas to remove toxic chemicals by 2013 — something that happened overseas some time ago.

Does it really matter what trace amounts of chemicals are in products? Here is what says:

“While a single product might not be cause for concern, the reality is that babies may be exposed to several products at bath time, several times a week, in addition to other chemical exposures in the home and environment… Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known carcinogens; formaldehyde can also trigger skin rashes in some children. Unlike many other countries, the U.S. government does not limit formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, or most other hazardous substances in personal care products.”

While Johnson & Johnson maintains it never used formaldehyde directly but instead “formaldehyde-releasing preservatives“, I know first hand that their Natural’s line can cause severe reactions. It happened to us, luckily not resulting in anything serious.

It’s wonderful to hear that their line is completely redoing their line. And it’s about time.

Just because you don’t have to disclose the chemicals you use in your products doesn’t mean that’s the right way to do things.

After several dozen embarrassing recalls last year, a mountain of bad press, parents hesitating to buy anymore and dumping what they had, and a potential boycott of their products over the chemicals used, Johnson & Johnson made a decision to remove all harmful ingredients, some known to cause cancer, by 2013 in baby products and 2015 in adult products.

This is a huge win for Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a site that has led the calls for Johnson & Johnson to reformulate their products after releasing the widely read “No More Toxic Tub” in 2009. Most consumers had no idea the J&J products contained these chemicals because they’re contaminates, not ingredients, and therefore were exempt from how the company needed to label the product.

Johnson & Johnson launched the “Safety and Care Commitment” website today that details how they plan on removing the toxins, why it won’t be immediate, and why they still won’t admit their products cause any harm. They did say the following while explaining the changes:

“Sometimes, concerns come to public attention based on speculation or questionable science, which still might make people uncomfortable with a particular ingredient ‘just in case.’ We listen carefully to these discussions and to what you have to say to us, and often we’ll find ways to reduce or eliminate ingredients of concern, even if it’s not a matter of safety, to help ensure your peace of mind.” – Safety and Care Commitment

Let’s hope their changes are all for the positive – and that other companies guilty of these practices follow suit. Just because you don’t have to disclose the chemicals you use in your products doesn’t mean that’s the right way to do things. If it’s not ok overseas, it shouldn’t be ok here either.


Interested in knowing how to limit your exposure to daily chemicals?

Photo Credit: Flickr via Tom and Katrien

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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