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Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Baby Shampoo?

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Johnson & Johnson recently responded, stating that:

“We have been phasing out the use of preservatives that release tiny amounts of formaldehyde to guard against bacterial contamination. These preservative technologies, which are used widely in our industry are all safe and approved in the countries where they are sold…  Over the past couple of years, we already have reduced the number of formulations globally with these “formaldehyde releaser” preservatives by 33 percent and in the U.S. by over 60 percent.

We are completing this reformulation as quickly as we can safely and responsibly do so.

As part of the manufacturing process, we have extensive monitoring to ensure that the amount of a trace byproduct known as “1,4 dioxane” in any of our products is well below the level that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regulatory agencies around the world consider safe.

… We have introduced new product formulations for consumers who prefer natural products, such as JOHNSON’S® NATURAL®, a line that is 98 percent natural, and contains no formaldehyde releasing preservatives or traces of 1,4 dioxane.”

However, reasonable as this may sound, there are two rather obvious “problems” with their reply:

1. They’re already selling a carcinogen-free version of its baby shampoo in other countries, so obviously no complicated reformulation would be necessary, and

2. The Johnson’s “Naturals” brand does not contain either of these chemicals, but, it costs about twice as much as their regular baby shampoo. That makes TWO carcinogen-free formulas at their disposal, which makes the line “We are completing this reformulation as quickly as we can safely and responsibly do so,” seem like a rather strange excuse

The countries already receiving quaternium-15-free Johnson & Johnson products include:

  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Japan
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • The U.K.

As stated by Jezebel:

“And it’s not like the company removed an essential ingredient to meet environmental restrictions in these countries. While some have banned the use of quaternium-15, it’s unclear why some of these countries are being treated to the carcinogen-free shampoo.”

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Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90’s he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.


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10:02PM PST on Feb 27, 2012

Not all that surprising. But what I do find unbelievable is how relaxed our own government regulations are. Look how many countries have banned these carcinogenic ingredients; why does the US not get a clue? I don't expect J&J to be as concerned about this; after all, a corporation's primary goal is to increase profits, not to be concerned about our health...especially given that they profit when our health is compromised anyway. And don't get me started on food dyes. Why is it that the same food products sold in the UK have naturally derived coloring agents such as beet juice instead of synthetically manufactured red dye? We obviously can't trust our government to be vigilant about our health. One would think our government would realize that disease prevention is cheaper in the long run than dealing with the high cost of a diseased populace. Oh I forgot for a moment that the US gov is tremendously near-sighted.

4:26PM PST on Feb 25, 2012

Why are we so surprised?

5:52AM PST on Feb 25, 2012

they also test on animals, just stick to all natural biodegradable products that has ingredients that you can recognize and that are cruelty free

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10:46AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

Suave products also contain dangerous chemicals. Some of these are banned in the state of California.

8:05AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

So bad to do this to our babies and our planet!!

4:16AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

Shameful !

3:17AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

you can wash your kids hair with comes up quite shiny

9:25PM PST on Feb 22, 2012


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