Johnson & Johnson is well known as a family-oriented brand. Many of the company’s products are marketed for young children and babies, although the company also creates toiletries and cosmetics for adults. Recently, many were surprised to hear that some of J&J’s products contain potentially harmful chemicals.
Cosmetic and personal care companies like J&J have come under scrutiny because of the chemicals used in their products. These concerns are also part of a growing trend, as consumer preferences turn toward products with more natural ingredients.
The Environmental Working Group did a study on popular cosmetic and personal care products. The group found that most of these products actually contain potentially hazardous chemicals.
The most concerning chemicals are 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde, a preservative. These chemicals are released in an attempt to kill bacteria. Both chemicals have the potential to cause cancer in humans. Formaldehyde can also irritate human skin, eyes and the respiratory system.
Other potentially dangerous chemicals often present in these products include triclosan, phthalates, parabens, and fragrance ingredients. Fragrance ingredients are not listed on product’s labels, so customers cannot be sure what is included.
The good news is that J&J has already begun the daunting task of reformulating its products to make them safer. The company is well on its way. J&J’s No More Tears baby shampoo and other baby products will be on the market with safer compositions by the end of 2013.
Recently, J&J set a goal date for reformulating its adult products, such as Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Lubriderm, Neutrogena and RoC, as well. The company hopes to achieve these objectives by the end of 2015.
You can keep yourself and your family safe from potentially dangerous chemicals in everyday products by staying informed. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the loudest voice behind the push for safer product options, is one source that provides consumer information and tips.
Source: USA Today, “J&J will remove dangerous chemicals from products by 2015,” Linda A. Johnson, August 15, 2012.
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