May 26th, 2009: A huge group of doctors and scientists joined forces with millions of consumers through the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and sends Johnson & Johnson a letter outlining their dissatisfaction with the fact that the baby shampoo has known carcinogens in it.
September 17th 2009: The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics write another letter to J&J citing even more evidence of harm caused by the chemicals in their shampoo.
2009, 2010, 2011: The company continues to sell the baby shampoo even though they are well aware that it contains the substance called Quaternium-15, which releases formaldehyde. The company claims it’s not that big of a deal because it’s just being applied to the skin. The committee urging for reformulation however counters that since their big slogan is “No More Tears,” Johnson & Johnson is well aware that shampoo often makes it into children’s eyes and therefore becomes a real cancer -especially lymphoma- risk (1,2,3).
2011: The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sends out a survey to see if the formaldehyde producing Quaternium-15 is in the versions sold in other countries. Johnson’s, sure enough, manages to use non-formaldehyde preservatives in the same baby shampoo (with a different and safer formulation) to Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the U.K.
Oct 31st, 2011: Johnson and Johnson finally puts out a press release saying that they have been and will continue to start to phase out the use of Quaternium-15.
November 2nd, 2011: I read all of this and get absolutely livid. “Phase out?!?!” Seriously? There is a known carcinogen and irritant in a product they sell to us for use on our BABIES and they know and acknowledge this, and the product isn’t being immediately recalled?! When Hyland’s found absolutely NOTHING dangerous AT ALL about their teething tablets, they recalled the product simply to SOOTHE the FDA’s pretend fears.
Thanks a lot for keeping the tears out of our babies’ eyes… but Johnson and Johnson: Maybe you should have been more concerned about the carcinogens in their eyes instead!
Forbes Magazine says that in their reader’s survey, Americans listed Johnson and Johnson as the overall most trusted brand… to which I retort, “Good work with your marketing J&J!”
J&J is like that uber slick and manipulative abusive husband that uses “covert abuse” so the woman has no idea it’s even happening until it’s too late. Oh I know, there I go again making over-dramatic analogies, but hear me out. OK?
So, in other countries, certain carcinogens are not allowed to be in baby products, so, J&J makes a safer version for them. Here in the US, companies dominate over our federal regulators so they get away with pretty much murder. You can still get the “safer” version of the baby shampoo here in the US, but you will have to pay more for it, and it will be labelled under the Johnson’s “Natural” line of products. Yet, some how, through their poetic advertising and marketing, we think Johnson’s baby shampoo is just about the safest of all products and that Johnson and Johnson is the most trustworthy of all companies.
We’re being stupid. They’re playing us.
What motivation could the company possibly have had for not instantly removing the toxins from our babies eyes?
Well… Just to be a total jerk, I feel the need to point out that Johnson and Johnson also sells other kinds of products:
You can find actually safe bathing products for your babies from companies that don’t have a financial interest in your unhealth or your babies future unhealth on our website: Here.
1.) National Cancer Institute 2011. Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk. Available:http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/formaldehyde
2.) Baan, Robert, et al on behalf of the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group (WHO/IARC). A review of human carcinogens—Part F: Chemical agents and related occupations. The Lancet Oncology, Volume 10, Issue 12, Pages 1143 – 1144, December 2009.
3.) Mackar, Robin. Expert Panel Recommends Listing Formaldehyde as Known Human Carcinogen. Environmental Factor, December 2009. Available: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2009/december/spotlight-expert.cfm