Among those sweet baby scents have lurked not so sweet ingredients like formaldehyde, claim activists.
If there is a signature scent associated with babyhood, Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo could win that prize. It’s a longstanding favorite with parents around the globe and has been for decades. Though the consumer products giant shut down their Israeli offices in 2009, the company’s cosmetic brands in Israel netted them close to $50 million that same year, reported Ynetnews.com. Their products are sold throughout the Middle East including Israel, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, according to the website.
That means babies have been exposed to what activists have referred to as the ‘toxic tub problem.’ Fortunately, a concerted effort by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has led to a activist victory. Johnson & Johnson, makers of Aveeno, Neutrogena, and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, announced this month that it will be removing some of these toxins from its baby and adult products globally.
“This is a major victory for public health,” said Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at the Breast Cancer Fund, a co-founder of the campaign. “We applaud Johnson & Johnson for its leadership in committing to remove cancer-causing chemicals from its products. We will be vigilant in making sure it meets its commitments and will continue to encourage it to remove other ingredients of concern.”
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a US coalition of more than 175 nonprofit organizations working to protect the health of consumers and workers by eliminating dangerous chemicals from cosmetics.
Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest companies in the world, told the Campaign it will reformulate its hundreds of cosmetics and personal care products in all the markets it serves in 57 countries around the world. Specifically, it will:
• Reduce 1,4 dioxane to a maximum of 10 parts per million in adult products;
• Phase out formaldehyde-releasers in adult products;
• Limit parabens in adult products to methyl-, ethyl- and propyl-;
• Complete phase-out of triclosan from all products;
• Phase out Diethyl Phthalate (DEP) from all products (no other phthalates are currently used);
• Phase out polycyclic musks, animal derived ingredients, tagates, rose crystal and diacetyl from fragrances.
Johnson & Johnson’s announcement follows the company’s November 2011 commitment to globally reformulate its baby products. This coincided in part with the release of two reports called Toxic Tub and Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic, which showed Johnson & Johnson baby products contain carcinogens.
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The author is a regular contributor to Greenprophet.com and blogs at www.tinamariebernard.com.