After two-and-a-half years of attempting to get Johnson and Johnson to remove two potentially cancer-causing chemicals from their baby shampoo, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is urging consumers to boycott Johnson's baby products.
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported in 2009 that studies by Analytical Sciences LLC of Petaluma, Calif., an independent laboratory, found that Johnson and Johnson's Baby Shampoo, Oatmeal Baby Wash and Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash contain 1,4-dioxane. This is a chemical that is considered to be a carcinogen. Bloomberg Businessweek states 1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of a process for making chemicals more soluble and gentler on the skin.
The other chemical is quaternium-15 which is a preservative that kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is used as a disinfectant and embalming fluid. It is also a skin, eye and respiratory irritant. In June the U.S. National Toxicology Program declared the chemical a known human carcinogen.
These chemicals remain in Johnson's baby shampoo in the United States, Canada, China, Indonesia and Australia. It is not found in the products sold in at least eight other countries including the U.K., Denmark, Japan and South Africa.
The director of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Lisa Archer, said, "Johnson & Johnson clearly can make safer baby shampoo in all the markets around the world, but it's not doing it. It's clearly a double standard, something they can easily fix." reports huffingtonpost.com.
The campaign's report is called "Baby's Tub is Still Toxic" The boycott is being launched via their website, found here.
Johnson and Johnson was sent a letter signed by about 25 environmental, medical and other groups that represent about 3.5 million people in the U.S. and other countries. It asks Johnson and Johnson to make a public commitment by November 15 to remove the chemicals from all their personal care products worldwide.
Their response in a statement was that formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are safe and approved by regulators in the U.S. and other countries, but that it is gradually phasing them out of its baby products. It said it is also reformulating baby products to reduce the level of dioxane below detectable levels. But it did not say whether it would respond to or meet the campaign's full demands, reports nydailynews.com.