Have you heard the news about Johnson & Johnson and their newly released statement saying they’re going to phase out the formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in their baby care products?  Containment’s found two years ago in the Toxic Tub report. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and many consumers and moms have been asking for a safer and truly a gentler baby care product from the brand that totes this as their slogan. According to Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, J&J does sell safer versions of their shampoo without formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) in other countries but not in the United States. That’s bologna!

“At present, the company still exposing babies in the U.S. and other countries to formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics recently discovered that J&J is selling versions of the shampoo in Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the U.K. that DON’T contain formaldehyde-releasing chemicals.”

Back in 2009, this was a hot button issue that provoked my hosting the Green Mom’s Carnival where several moms wrote about this very topic and demanded a change! TWO years ago! As Jennifer Taggart, The Smart Mama points out, J&J is using some very questionable ingredients that are not disclosed on the label and when you’re washing your beloved child you’re not expecting to bath them in a toxic brew of bubbles!

“…J&J’s baby shampoo and other products contain the carcinogens 1, 4 dioxane and formaldehyde. They also contain hormone disrupting phthalates. These ingredients are not disclosed on the label. 1, 4 dioxane is a contaminant in certain ethoxylated ingredients. Formaldehyde is released from certain preservatives, called formaldehyde donor preservatives (such as Quat 15). Phthalates are found in fragrance.”

Two years have passed and this very topic is resurfacing, receiving media attention and the company is paying attention – which is about time! From Johnson & Johnson:

“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.”

What Can You Can Do

It is good to see large companies and brands begin to make safer products for our children and the general public, though slow to action.  We as consumers still need to vigilant and advocate, which is what you can do when you visit Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and send a letter to J&J and other companies to demand only the best for our babies. I am certainly happy that changes are being made but if the company can claim to have a formulation from their Natural’s line be safer, why not have all their product be equally safe? In my opinion this is green-washing and about dollars and cents, the company can make more money marketing the Natural’s line and charging consumers more for a safer product. Hogwash!

How Do You Feel

How do you feel about this? Have you used J&J baby shampoos and lotions in the past? Do you trust the company? Personally, I have. I did not know any better when I had my first child and I assumed all products were safe and I allowed myself to trust and not ask questions. Things are different now but I am glad the company is making some changes in the right direction.


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