Two years ago, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report entitled "No More Toxic Tub," in which the group highlighted the potentially cancer-causing chemicals found in a number of baby products, namely Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo. Since that time, the group has been pushing Johnson & Johnson to reformulate its product. Even though versions of the product sold in other countries do not contain the chemicals, the American version is still toxic to babies. Today, the group released a new report, "Baby's Tub Is Still Toxic," and it's officially calling on consumers to boycott Johnson's Baby Shampoo until the company agrees to change the formula.
The chemicals in question are 1, 4-dioxane and a substance called quaternium-15 that releases formaldehyde. The first chemical, 1,4-dioxane is considered a likely carcinogen, while the second chemical, quaternium-15, kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde — a known human carcinogen.
Johnson's Baby Shampoo sold in the United States contains trace amounts of both, yet the same product sold in other countries does not. The shampoo sold in Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the U.K does not contain potentially carcinogenic chemicals. The Campaign For Safer Cosmetics is asking why the double standard exists.
"Johnson & Johnson clearly can make safer baby shampoo in all the markets around the world, but it's not doing it. Clearly there is no need for Johnson & Johnson to expose babies to a known carcinogen when the company is already making safer alternatives. All babies deserve safer products," said Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, in an online press release.
Yesterday, the campaign sent Johnson & Johnson a letter, signed by about 25 environmental, medical and other groups including the Breast Cancer Fund, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, American Nurses Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Green America. The letter asks the company to publicly commit by Nov. 15 to removing the chemicals from all personal care products worldwide.
Want to get involved? Check out the Campaign for Safer Chemicals website where you can read the full "Toxic" report and take action by sending your own message to Johnson & Johnson.