A consumer advocacy group is calling for the removal of known carcinogens from Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo and pushing for new government regulation of hazardous contaminants in all children’s personal care products.
In a recently released report called “No More Toxic Tub”, the nonprofit Campaign for Safe Cosmetics revealed that laboratory tests on some of the most popular infant products, like Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo, proved the presence of potential cancer-causing chemicals.
The tests found that 82 percent contained formaldehyde at levels ranging from 54 to 610 parts per million (ppm), and 67 percent contained 1,4-dioxane at levels ranging from 0.27 to 35 ppm. More than 60 percent of products tested contained both. Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo was found to contain 210 ppm of formaldehyde, and low levels of 1,4-dioxane.
According to the Associated Press, Johnson & Johnson says that trace levels of the two chemicals are not listed as ingredients because they are contaminants; byproducts of the processes used to create the shampoo. The company indicates that they have no immediate plans to remove the two chemicals from their products.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of nonprofit environmental, health, faith, consumer, women’s and worker organizations that works to protect the public by requiring that chemicals linked to serious health concerns be phased out of personal care products and replaced with safer alternatives.
On April 29, 2009, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced new legislation calling for the FDA to regulate hazardous chemicals in personal care products used by children. The bill would require the FDA to test the products, publicly report the findings and then reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals.
Although Johnson & Johnson, and many government agencies, consider the trace amounts of chemicals safe, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says that they have not considered that the personal care products are likely used in conjunction with other products that also contain the contaminants, resulting in a cumulative exposure level that has not yet been measured.
Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are both listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as probable carcinogens. Formaldehyde is a preservative, released by a chemical known as Quaternium-15 that is used to kill and prevent the growth of bacteria.