Aveeno Baby Wash Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Use of Chemicals

Two Connecticut women filed a class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson over its Aveeno baby wash and baby shampoo products, saying the company marketed them as natural products when they actually contained artificial chemicals that may cause cancer. 

The Aveeno class action lawsuit (PDF) was filed by Rebecca Virgil and Heidi Langan, who both say they paid a premium price for Aveeno baby wash and baby shampoo products, believing they were made from all natural products, and thus safer and healthier for their children. The mothers later discovered that the products contained potentially carcinogenic chemicals.

The complaint alleges that Aveeno Calming Comfort Bath, which is billed as having a “Natural Formula,” contains Quaternium 15, a preservative that releases formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen. The complaint also claims that the Aveeno baby products also have a high risk of contamination by 1,4 dioxane, another chemical believed to be a cancer-causing agent.

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The lawsuit seeks class action status for anyone who purchased the products. It follows a consumer campaign and a petition for a boycott last year by the consumer watchdog group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The boycott was aimed at forcing Johnson & Johnson to remove the chemicals from its baby shampoo products.

Johnson & Johnson calls 1,4 Dioxane a “trace byproduct” of many of its products. It is a compound that is irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract and may cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys. It is also classified by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen and was classified by the state of California under Proposition 65 to cause cancer.

Johnson & Johnson uses these and other chemicals and preservatives to prevent the contamination of bacteria in its products. Those preservatives often release a small amount of formaldehyde in the process.

Following the threatened boycott, Johnson & Johnson announced it would remove the chemicals from its baby shampoo products sometime this year.

8 Comments

  • VictoriaFebruary 1, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    I’ve been showering my baby with the Aveeno baby moisture and Shampoo for about 3 years. Last night I had the unfortunate situation that she was playing the soap and her toys in the bathtub when for the first time I didn’t rinse the soap from her face for about 7 minutes, when I notice her face was turning red in the area where the soap was, almost like burnt. I then of course rinse it off right a[Show More]I’ve been showering my baby with the Aveeno baby moisture and Shampoo for about 3 years. Last night I had the unfortunate situation that she was playing the soap and her toys in the bathtub when for the first time I didn’t rinse the soap from her face for about 7 minutes, when I notice her face was turning red in the area where the soap was, almost like burnt. I then of course rinse it off right away. She was with her face red until the next day. I just feel very angry at the situation because when I reached to them. They offered me coupons. Like really? Coupons? That’s not right for me. My baby’s health is worth more than anything, and definitely more than coupons.

  • JulieDecember 11, 2021 at 7:02 am

    If it's not Organic it's not safe.

  • AmberOctober 8, 2021 at 12:13 am

    I started using Aveeno baby shampoo and body wash recently. My hair is falling out. I'm getting bald spots. I have been using it on my baby but not nearly as much as on myself. My husband has commented saying it looks like her hair was starting to fall out and then commented on mine. I really noticed the hair loss today. I couldn't tell before and didn't think he was right at first.

  • LakishaMay 20, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    We used these products for years on our children I used The products on my daughter she broke out so I stopped using them and I haven’t used them on my new baby as I am scared I already affected my two year old. I was gifted so many Johnson and Johnson Johnson products they are just collecting dust it makes me so sick and saddened because our babies are so small and sensitive and to know they know[Show More]We used these products for years on our children I used The products on my daughter she broke out so I stopped using them and I haven’t used them on my new baby as I am scared I already affected my two year old. I was gifted so many Johnson and Johnson Johnson products they are just collecting dust it makes me so sick and saddened because our babies are so small and sensitive and to know they knowingly put harmful chemicals in products specifically made for the babies is just mind boggling

  • LeuhhFebruary 23, 2021 at 4:50 am

    I've used the Aveeno daily Moisturizer SPF 15 for years Wth

  • JessicaDecember 2, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    I used Aveeno Positively Radiant intensive night cream once. It burned my skin painfully. I never used it again. What are the ingredients? LOT0089C

  • LisaDecember 22, 2019 at 3:57 am

    I have used Aveeno for over 5 years please get the Petro and other chemicals that should not be in it thank you

  • deborahNovember 1, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    very upset with this baby product as well.

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