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New York - Health Campaigners Urge Boycott Of J&J Baby Shampoo

Published on: November 1, 2011 10:06 PM
By: Reuters
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New York - A coalition of health campaigners on Tuesday urged a boycott of Johnson & Johnson until it removes from its baby shampoo a preservative considered by the U.S. government to be a possible trigger for some cancers and skin allergies.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics said in a report that the health care company uses the preservative quaternium-15 in the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo line sold in the United States and elsewhere.

Quaternium-15 is added to many cosmetic products to prevent spoiling and contamination, and the preservative works by releasing formaldehyde to kill bacteria.

The U.S. Department of Health said formaldehyde is known to cause cancer, although exposure to it is difficult to avoid as it is widely used in some form in consumer products and traces of it are found in the air, particularly inside the home.

Repeated exposure also can increase the risk of a person developing allergic skin reactions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

There are no restrictions on the use of formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in cosmetics.

Responding to the report, Johnson & Johnson said it has been working on phasing out formaldehyde-releasing preservatives from its baby products since 2009, when the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics first raised its concerns with the company about its baby shampoo.


“We know that some consumers are concerned about formaldehyde,” the company said in a statement, “which is why we offer many products without formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, and are phasing out these types of preservatives in our baby products worldwide.”

It said its current formulations were nonetheless safe and met or exceeded safety regulations in every market where they are sold.

“Clearly there is no need for Johnson & Johnson to expose babies to a known carcinogen when the company is already making safer alternatives,” Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at the Breast Cancer Fund, said in a statement.

The Campaign said the company is already making formaldehyde-free baby shampoo for sale in Japan, South Africa, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

“All babies deserve safer products,” Archer said.

Since the Campaign first raised its concerns, Johnson & Johnson has released a new line in the United States called Johnson’s Naturals, which does not contain formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.

The company said it also is working to eliminate 1,4-dioxane, a contaminant also thought to be carcinogenic that is commonly found in shampoos and other cosmetics, from its products. The company said it has already reformulated 70 percent of its baby product lines to achieve this goal.

Stacy Malkan, the author of the Campaign’s report, said she welcomed Johnson & Johnson’s commitment.

“We’re really pleased to see them make a public stand, but we feel they need put a timeline to it,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson said it was not possible to say when its baby product lines would be entirely formaldehyde-free.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics describes itself as a coalition of more than 150 nonprofit organizations, including Clean Water Action, the Breast Cancer Fund, Environmental Working Group and Friends of the Earth.

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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »


 Nov 02, 2011 at 12:05 AM DOWN WITH LIBERALISM Says:

Oh please! Obviously no one has gotten cancer from this thing. These morons are ruining our lives!


 Nov 02, 2011 at 07:09 AM Darth_Zeidah Says:

Reply to #1  

Oh please! Obviously no one has gotten cancer from this thing. These morons are ruining our lives!

The research has been made available so that no one can say they were unaware of the possible dangers and sue.

You have made your decision - doubtless after carefully and objectively considering all the evidence placed before you.


 Nov 02, 2011 at 07:29 AM Not really sure yet Says:

Reply to #1  

Oh please! Obviously no one has gotten cancer from this thing. These morons are ruining our lives!

Nobody can make a statement like "Obviously no one has gotten cancer from this thing" with certainty. I think that if there is a possible risk and J&J has proven alternatives why have they not switched. This is another case where other countries protect their citizens better than the USA.


 Nov 02, 2011 at 07:40 AM shanak10 Says:

Reply to #1  

Oh please! Obviously no one has gotten cancer from this thing. These morons are ruining our lives!

How do you know that "obviously" no one has gotten cancer from this thing. Perhaps you can enlighten us and tell us what you think people get cancer from.


 Nov 02, 2011 at 10:32 AM Mark Levin Says:

Reply to #1  

Oh please! Obviously no one has gotten cancer from this thing. These morons are ruining our lives!

Agreed! This whole liberal nanny state do gooder gurnishts have to stop.


 Nov 02, 2011 at 11:04 AM Aryeh Says:

Let the market naturally take care of this by removing lawsuit limitations. In other words, if someone is harmed by this produce (G-d forbid) let them sue the company into the ground for negligence. End the FDA and its nanny state garbage and see how much safer companies get on their own.


 Nov 02, 2011 at 03:59 PM Anonymous Says:

So you think formadehyde is bad in baby's shampoo? How about formaldehyde in baby's vaccines??


 Nov 02, 2011 at 08:25 PM scmaness Says:

today we are surround by,or rather bomb by excess poison,chemical,back to the land on park slope has a whole room of natural cosmetic,natural shampoo,dye,makeup,eye shadows,eye liner,lipstick,it's made from veg,like beets,it's a whole lot safer.look up debra lynn dadd for her books,awhile its true we need to take care,it's best not to go overboard.,l only used joy dish detergent and little bleach for the bath room,a little soft scrub before pesach,people say you can wash with baking soda and vinger,l use news paper to clean the windows,a mop that reaches outside with a little joy dish detergent and water,we feel ok in our home. it's hard to get without press wood furniture and all the chemicals on it,l do my best,the molecules outgass,this includes bedding which is pol,this can affect energy and lack of children,it's in the sheets,we have exchange comfort for health problems.we do the best we can and do your chitas which hashem will protect you


 Nov 02, 2011 at 07:49 PM ELM Says:

Product has been around for ages without causing huge problems amongs large groups of children...so rediculous.I bet you take any product on the shelves these days and there is bound to be some ingredient that irritates someone.


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