Johnson’s and Johnson’s Baby Wash is an American classic when it comes to newborn care. The product is the number one choice of hospital nurseries and parents. Everyone recognizes the plastic yellow bottle as being the ultimate in “pure and gentle” care for infants. But what you might not know is that bottle contains unnecessary toxins already eliminated in their formulation marketed in other countries.
Johnson and Johnson baby wash sold in USA found to contain toxins.
Remember when Bath and Body Works was targeted for their use of Triclosan in products marketed at children? Johnson and Johnson’s signature product, the No More Tears Baby Wash was also listed on Toxic Tub Report. In fact, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has been urging J&J to remove formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from their baby products for over two years. It was recently uncovered that J&J has been selling their Baby Wash under two different formulations. One sold in the US, China and Indonesia contains the toxin, while the same product sold in the UK, Denmark and Japan does not.
The toxic chemicals invovled.
The chemicals in question are 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen, and quaternium-15, a preservative that releases formaldehyde, also a proven carcinogen. The Baby Wash also contains numbing agents to make the product “tear free”. Johnson and Johnson is not required to list these ingredients on their labels under current US law. This means that even though J&J manufactures products in the US, they are not subject to the same scrutiny of other consumer products, including children’s products and toys.
Fighting for change.
A coalition of groups on the front-line of health in safety, including the American Nurses Association, have written and met with Johnson and Johnson to address the issue this issue. For two years they neglected to make any changes. With the issue getting pushed into the public eye with a new campaign by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, J&J has just issued a statement that they will begin to gradually phase out the use of the chemical of concern world-wide. The timeline for this promised change remains unknown.
While it’s disturbing that Johnson and Johnson were using these chemicals in products for infants when they had a safer alternative already in production, their response is a testament to the power of conscious consumers. If they are to continue to enjoy their commercial success, they will need to please their customers. Make a choice to use safer natural alternatives and let J&J know you support their proposed actions but oppose the continued sale of their products as are they are being sold on shelves today. And take action to support a proposed Safe Cosmetics Act by contacting your representative.
Do you think J&J’s response was adequate? What actions as a consumer will you take to address this issue and keep babies safe from toxic products?