Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs you will ever take on. You are constantly worrying and doing everything in
your power to keep your child healthy and safe. So, recent news about how the baby shampoo you bought, used and trusted to be safe is now found to be TOXIC is angering millions of parents! For years now the American consumers have being buying toxic version of baby products while Europeans are getting a non-toxic version of the same products. It angers me to know that there are even two different versions made. Why are American consumers not even being offers the safe non toxic versions of food, hygiene products and who know what else – why are we being left in the dark?
In 2009, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report about baby shampoo, particularly Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo. The report was a combined effort, not only from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics but 40 other organizations. This report revealed that the world’s most beloved baby shampoo contained chemicals that are known carcinogens. Was Johnson & Johnson subjecting the world’s babies to agents known to cause cancer?
The reports were evidently true. Shortly after the report was released, Johnson & Johnson stopped using these toxic ingredients, but only in some countries. Unfortunately, the United States was not one of those countries.
The chemicals that are causing concern are quaternium-15 and 1,4-dioxane. Quaternium-15, according to the 2009 report, ‘No More Toxic Tub’, is a “chemical preservative that kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde.” Both of these chemicals are known human carcinogens. In fact, the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission claims that “the presence of 1,4-dioxane, even as a trace contaminant, is cause for concern.”
In October, 2011, Johnson & Johnson again came under fire. Apparently they have removed these harsh chemicals from their baby shampoo in every country. The problem is, in order to get the chemical-free version of shampoo in the United States, Canada, China, Indonesia and Australia, consumers will have to pay twice the amount and get the “natural” variety of shampoo. This is hardly fair, when countries such as Japan, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands only have the chemical-free version available.
As a result of this October report, Johnson & Johnson made a public statement claiming they are no longer introducing products into the market that have these carcinogens in them. They were quoted as saying “We know that some consumers are concerned about formaldehyde, which is why we offer many products without formaldehyde releasing preservatives.”
There are ways to get Johnson & Johnson baby products without getting the chemicals. Consumers living in the US, Canada, China, Indonesia and Australia can purchase the “natural” versions of baby products, as mentioned previously, or they can opt to buy only the newest releases from Johnson & Johnson. For those that wish to boycott Johnson & Johnson baby products altogether, simply take some time and read the labels of other baby products prior to purchasing them. There are products available that won’t harm babies.
Johnson & Johnson claims the countries where the toxin-free version of baby shampoo is sold have regulations against the chemicals in question. Lisa Archer, national coordinator for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics states otherwise. Archer stated Sweden, South Africa and Japan do not have regulations on these chemicals. She then said “that’s a double standard.”
It’s been two years since Johnson & Johnson has said they were going to work to remove these toxins from their products. As of now, there has been no change to the current products, only the introduction of new products and “natural” products that don’t contain these known carcinogens. Parents who want to use the “natural” products are required to pay double the amount as the regular product costs, or change brands. How long is considered a “reasonable amount of time?” for them to comply with safety standards?
Johnson and Johnson has till November 15th to commit to removing harmful toxic ingredients – what do you think they will choose? Will you ever buy Johnson and Johnson products again? I really wish there was a company that sold reasonably prices bath products for kids that were around the same price range as Johnson and Johnson. I try to shop at Whole Foods often and have found that most of the bath products there for kids are double or triple what regular grocery store brands sell for. What are American consumers to do? How will you protect your child?