Johnson & Johnson Asked to Remove Chemicals from Baby Shampoo

Johnson & Johnson Asked to Remove Chemicals from Baby Shampoo

Johnson & Johnson is being asked by a coalition of organizations to remove two chemicals, considered probable human carcinogens, from its baby shampoo and other personal care products.

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The chemical removal is being pushed by more than 40 parent, health care and environmental groups, including the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, American Nurses Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, MomsRising, the Environmental Working Group and Friends of the Earth.

The groups want to see Johnson & Johnson remove 1,4-dioxane and Quaternium-15, a preservative that releases formaldehyde, by the end of the year.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported in March that it found Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo and other children's products contained formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, both of which have been found to cause cancer in animals and listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as probable human carcinogens.

Johnson & Johnson spokesman Bill Price's response, as reported by the Associated Press, is, "The trace levels of certain compounds that were noted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics can result from processes that make our products gentle for babies and safe from bacteria growth. Many regulatory agencies around the world consider these trace levels safe."

The chemicals are not listed as ingredients on product labels because they are contaminants. Quaternium-15 slowly releases formaldehyde to kill bacteria and 1,4-dioxane is a manufacturing byproduct.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics points out that Johnson & Johnson is already making formaldehyde-free products in Japan, which bans its inclusion in cosmetics.

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