Johnson & Johnson, amid activists’ push, steadily removing toxic chemicals from baby products (Associated Press, 11/16/2011)


J&J-baby-shampoo_200Iconic baby shampoo maker Johnson & Johnson has committed to a two-year timeline to remove formaldehyde-releasing preservatives 
from its baby products worldwide, under pressure from the Breast Cancer Fund's Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. The Associated Press broke the news late yesterday, based on a letter from J&J to the Campaign. (Read the letter and the Campaign press release.)

Also included in the letter is confirmation from J&J that it is actively working to strip the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane from its baby products, and it has already removed phthalates (hormone-disrupting chemicals) from all baby products worldwide, including phthalates found in fragrance.

The letter and transparent public commitment follow the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics' Nov. 1 release of an analysis, Baby's Tub Is Still Toxic, that found different formulations of Johnson's Baby Shampoo in different countries–some of which were already using safer formulations.

From the Associated Press:

Amid pressure from activists, Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that it is continuing efforts to remove traces of two harmful chemicals from its baby products around the world.

An international coalition of consumer and environmental groups has been pressing J&J since May 2009 to remove two potentially cancer-causing chemicals from products including its signature Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, long advertised under the slogan “No More Tears.”

The New Brunswick, N.J., company generally still has a Teflon reputation, but questions about the safety of its baby products led to a rebuke from the Chinese government earlier this month and thousands of consumers writing the company that they would no longer buy those products, according to the campaign. (Read complete article.)

This is a monumental victory for children's health and safety, and for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. At the Breast Cancer Fund, we're incredibly proud to have been part of this win. Today we celebrate the tireless work by our staff and partner organizations; together over the last two and a half years we moved a corporate giant to make lasting global change in the name of health.


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