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Johnson & Johnson agrees to make its baby products a little bit cleaner


baby shampoo
(Photo: Forbes.com)

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (and babies!) scored a major victory this Wednesday, when Johnson & Johnson agreed to reformulate all of its baby products worldwide to no longer include formaldehyde-releasing chemicals.

The company had been under pressure from consumer-protection groups for years, but the final decision came in response to a report published by the Campaign on November 1.

It showed that every parent’s favorite baby shampoo sold in the U.S., Canada, and China contained the toxic chemicals—even though safer versions existed in other countries.

“This proves that there’s no need for companies to include proven carcinogens in our health and beauty products,” says Rachel Winard, the founder of Soapwalla Kitchen, who also lectures about the harmful ingredients in Johnson & Johnson’s baby products. “It’s certainly a step in the right direction, a victory for consumer groups, and validation that speaking up does work.”

Johnson & Johnson baby products will no longer include phthlates, quaternium-15, and reduce exposure to 1,4 dioxane. But they’ll still be a long way from natural, with ingredients like parabens on their labels.

Interestingly, the company will not be tweaking their adult product formulations, which include brands like Aveeno and Neutrogena. Tough luck, grown-ups.

“We look forward to the day when all Johnson & Johnson products are free of carcinogens and other chemicals of concern,” says Stacy Malkan, the co-founder of the Campaign, and author of Not Just A Pretty Face. “Many companies are already making bath products without carcinogens and that’s what all companies should be doing.” —Lisa Elaine Held

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