Many of us have grown to trust brands like Johnson & Johnson for our personal care needs, but if you found out some of these products contain potentially harmful ingredients and carcinogens, would you keep using them?
As more of us are becoming aware of what is in products we put on our bodies, Johnson & Johnson has made a pledge to remove all potentially harmful chemicals from its toiletry products and lotions by 2015. This includes brands such as Neutrogena, Lubriderm, Clean & Clear, and Aveeno.
Last year, the company decided to remove “chemicals of concern” from its popular Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and other baby care products in the U.S. by the end of 2013.
The specific ingredient to be removed from these products is quaternium-15, a preservative that is known to release formaldehyde, a potential carcinogen. This substance in Johnson’s Baby Shampoo drew the attention of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, whose interest was piqued after finding out a formaldehyde-free version was being sold in other countries.
“We applaud Johnson & Johnson for its leadership in committing to remove cancer-causing chemicals from its products,” said Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “We will be vigilant in making sure [Johnson & Johnson] meets its commitments and will continue to encourage it to remove other ingredients of concern.”
The pledge made by Johnson & Johnson also commits to reduce 1,4 dioxane, another probable carcinogen, to a maximum of 10 parts per million in adult products; completely phase triclosan out of all products; limit parabens in adult products to methyl-, ethyl-, and propyl-; phase Diethyl Phthalate out of all products; and phase out all animal derived ingredients, polycyclic musks, tagates, rose crystal, and diacetyl from fragrances.
This does pose a major risk for J&J, because for those that have to be entirely reformulated, customers may be unhappy with the results of the new product. Regardless, I’d rather use a shampoo that is formaldehyde-free. I’m thinking people will continue to use them, especially if J&J is able to prove their products are truly safe and they are a trustworthy company. Perhaps even more people will use them.