Despite the efforts to show it’s warm and fuzzy side, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has decided to cave into criticism and reformulate its popular baby shampoo to remove the formaldehyde. The company waited for its reformulation before making the announcement to the New York Times in January. The health care giant decided to rinse out the government recognized carcinogen formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane after consumer pressure gave JNJ no choice. The rest of the lineup of 100 other baby-care products will also be reformulated, according to the company.
Quaternium-15 releases formaldehyde and the other chemical results from making the “no more tears” formulation. Because they are not added ingredients, they were not listed on the label which came under consumer group criticism.
Look for the new formulation with the “Improved Formula” on the bottle.
Expect JNJ to continue its move to remove unpopular chemicals from consumer products. The company has vowed to take the chemicals out of Neutrogena and Clean & Clear, reports the New York Times. At the same time Johnson & Johnson continues to insist the chemicals are safe as it moves to remove them.
In the end it was consumer groups such as the Environmental Working Group and its Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which publishes and annual consumer guide. The Breast Cancer Fund and the online Johnson & Toxin, among others, had embarrassed the company by disclosing the ingredients and consumers responded.
The move toward safe personal care products doesn’t stop with JNJ. Target plans to incentivize companies that provide products to avoid harsh chemicals, Procter & Gamble vowed by years’ end to eliminate the plasticizer, phthalates and the microbial, triclosan. Even Walmart said it plans to require suppliers to eliminate 10 chemicals from product used by Americans everyday to in their homes and on their bodies.
An Environmental Working Group spokeswoman says it’s not known if formaldehyde in a baby shampoo will cause cancer but ‘When in doubt, take it out.”