Johnson & Johnson to Remove Formaldehyde, Other Chemicals from Products

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Johnson & Johnson announced plans this week to remove a laundry list of potentially harmful chemicals, including formaldehyde, from its personal care products by 2015. It’s the first such move by a major manufacturer of consumer products.

J&J already announced that it would remove questionable chemicals from its baby products by 2013, but the company is now extending that commitment to its adult product lines, which include popular brands like Neutrogena, Aveeno and Clean & Clear.

J&J will phase out ingredients like formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane — the former, which is released over time by preservatives in products, was declared a carcinogen by the U.S. government last year; the latter, a byproduct of a process that makes other ingredients gentler for the skin, has been linked to cancer in animals. J&J will also remove phthalates, which are endocrine-disrupting chemicals, along with preservatives called parabens, fragrance ingredients, and triclosan, a chemical found in antibacterial soaps, mouthwashes and toothpastes.

(MORE: Why the Federal Government Finally Acted on Chemical Safety)

“There’s a very lively public discussion going on about the safety of ingredients in personal care products,” said Susan Nettesheim, vice president for product stewardship and toxicology for the company’s consumer health brands, in a company statement. “It was really important that we had a voice in that.”

The New York Times reported:

Johnson & Johnson’s decision requires the company to navigate a public relations tightrope, by portraying itself as willing to make extensive changes while simultaneously reassuring consumers that its existing products are safe. The endeavor’s success is even more critical because the company has experienced serious recalls and quality lapses in recent years. On a new Web site that explains the changes to consumers, the company calls it “moving beyond safety.”

(MORE: Warning: Getting Your Hair Straightened Could Endanger Your Health)

The company did not say how much it would cost to reformulate its products, but said that spending on research, development and testing of alternatives to the ingredients it is removing will be costly.

[via The New York Times]

27 comments
Josie Milton
Josie Milton

Unfortunately, chemicals in baby products are frighteningly common. Look for 'certified organic' products- products which carry a certified organic logo or stamp (e.g. USD or Ecocert), such as the Hydraflore face and body range which has been specifically formulated for expectant mothers and sensitive skin. The cosmetic industry is not well-regulated, therefore we, the consumer, HAVE to self-educate. Open your eyes to the ugly truth; make intelligent and informed choices when it comes to your health and well-being.

Josie Milton
Josie Milton

Unfortunately, many popular baby products contain toxins and chemicals, many of which are associated with the epidemic of ADD, birth defects and miscarriage. With big names like Johnson amp; Johnson exposed, mothers are left confused and frightened, wondering which products really are safe. The answer is Mother Nature, but even then, how can you tell if a product is really as 'natural', 'pure' and 'organic' as it claims to be? Look for certified organic logos such as Ecocert and USD on the product. To wear this logo, the product is required to undergo rigorous testing and must meet strict requirements. Certification is not compulsory though, so products that are not certified, can contain whatever nasties they like.

I recommend Hydraflore. It's specifically formulated for expectant mothers and sensitive skin and contains no allergenic essential oils which are also a health hazard for unborn babies. For more information visit Centella Skin amp; Wellness Clinic.

Josie Milton
Josie Milton

Unfortunately, chemicals in baby products are all too common. Centella Skin and Wellness Clinic are on a mission to educate the world, especially expectant mothers, on the very real dangers associated with these hidden toxins. With big name like Johnson amp; Johnson exposed, it leaves mothers confused and frightened. Which products are safe? The answer is certified organic products such as Hydraflore which has been specifically formulated for expectant mothers and sensitive skin and contains no toxins or chemicals- many of which are associated with birth defects, the epidemic of ADD and miscarriage. Frightening.

Www.centellaclinic.com

swanworks1
swanworks1

BTW, Triclosan is a registered pesticide.  All products claiming to be 'antibacterial' must be registered as a pesticide.  Formaldehyde is commonly used, for instance, in the making of "wrinkle proof" clothes. Doing research sure takes times, but finding out we are using way more toxic stuff than we think we are helps so we can create a healthier life and home.  WWII brought forth tons of new chemicals to be used, such as solvents and degreasers to keep the tanks running.  After the war, rather than end production of these wartime chemicals, new applications were found ... such as putting these chemicals into regular household cleaning products that are toxic and shouldn't be used in a home, as everyday cleaners, exposing our bodies, our children, and pets to them.  Switch to green cleaning. And I don't mean some of the commercial green cleaners.  Trade secret laws allow companies including green companies to NOT disclose all that's in a product. My nose often tells me that some of the popular green cleaners are not at all green. For example, Simple Green isn't. Several years ago the Boston Globe did an expose' on that topic. If you want, check out "The Wall of Shame". The 20th century was full of wonderful innovations, but there's a big shadow cast over it...shadow of 2 world wars and runaway greed.  Why drag these negative themes into the 21st?  I wonder if J amp; J really will create a safe healthy shampoo. I hope so!

Hailee McDaniel
Hailee McDaniel

Some of

the things I have read have just blown me away.

“a

byproduct of a process that makes other ingredients gentler for the skin, has

been linked to cancer in animals”

Hearing

something like this worries me about not only about the company, but makes me

wonder what other harmful things I’m putting into my body! I think this was a good

informed discussion. It really puts that though into your head that there is

something much bigger beyond these companies. What ever happened to just

wanting to be clean?

I will

have to say, I’m glad I read this. Good job on your work.

A reader

of yours,

Hailee

McDaniel

Crikey Wood
Crikey Wood

Now if they would only stop testing on animals.  

Tom
Tom

 They were not using animals!!  Just babies...duh

chedar888
chedar888

No wonder why I get a lot of itches with Triclosan. It is a pretty bad reactive chemicals..

Dick Perry
Dick Perry

How am i now going to get any dates??

BadEnoughDudeDolemite
BadEnoughDudeDolemite

Of course there are harmful chemicals in pretty much every daily product, it's just the nature of chemistry- reactants and precursors used to make products are often toxic in some capacity. Heck, the chemicals used in plastics alone are extremely toxic and very frequently are strong carcinogens. In the case of personal products, take toothpaste for example. Sodium fluoride (a key ingredient in nearly every toothpaste) is actually quite toxic, with an MFPA Health Toxicity rating of 3 out of 4. This means that short exposure could cause serious temporary or moderate residual injury such that you would find with chemicals like chlorine gas. The thing that you have to consider is the concentration and amount of the harmful chemical in question. The concentrations and amounts of dangerous chemicals in personal products are often tiny. The problem is chronic exposure to tiny amounts of dangerous chemicals. In relation to this article,  Jamp;J is also removing 1,4 dioxane  from baby products.  1,4 dioxane is an irritant with chronic toxicity risks and a possible carcinogen and is found in a huge number of personal care products, not just baby products.This all being said, it is absolutely ludicrous that formaldehyde, 1,4 dioxane or any other similar carcinogenic compound would be in ANY personal product. Shame on Jamp;J for using such nasty chemicals!

krozareq
krozareq

Those who live in apartments and have to submit to a monthly pest eradication, know this: The chemicals that exterminators use have to be registered with the EPA, but even the EPA will tell you that they do not test any of these chemicals nor guarantee the safety of them at all. 

Ferris Kawar
Ferris Kawar

Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org has the most comprehensive list of  problematic ingredients in consumer products. It is well worth comparing the brands and products in your bathroom and under your sink against their research. 

ZEUSdaBUNNY
ZEUSdaBUNNY

why 2015?

krozareq
krozareq

They need time to find what to replace them with. This is a company afterall, not a charity. 

stockbuy44
stockbuy44

J amp; J are using Eugenic poisons to depopulate and sicken the population. You think Tylenol is safe? Think again. David Rockefeller and the Freemasons are laughing at your ignorance.

Kathleen Tezla
Kathleen Tezla

Try California Baby - it has all natural ingredients . . . Also, be sure to check out the ingredients in your children's toothpaste, they are not much better.

dmadam
dmadam

The NPR link above with a list you will find that it is 

formaldehyde releasing agents and not 

formaldehyde directly.  The result is the same but it is poor reporting by TIME and also the NYT.

dmadam
dmadam

If you go to the NPR link below and a list you will see that it is formaldehyde  releasing agents not 

formaldehyde.  End result is the same but this is poor reporting on the part of TIME

Tom Zentra
Tom Zentra

"Johnson amp; Johnson announced plans this week to remove a laundry list of potentially harmful chemicals"

Laundry list? Were you doing a weekly load while writing this dumb story?

Talendria
Talendria

Jesus Christ.  They put FORMALDEHYDE in BABY PRODUCTS?  There are really no words to describe how much I hate corporate America and the FDA.

MelodysuhWaltcott
MelodysuhWaltcott

Sheila replied I am impressed that a person can earn $7128 in 4 weeks on the network. have you seen this(Click on menu Home)

armchrexpert
armchrexpert

Thats exactly the problem.  The FDA doesn't have jurisdiction over these types of products.   If the FDA did, there'd be more regulation and far, far more safety.

Guess what? It's not just Jamp;J.  Plenty of the products in your cupboard contain harmful chemicals, particularly pesticides and household cleaners.   Any product labeled "use in well ventilated area" - they are saying that because they KNOW the fumes are dangerous.

Talendria
Talendria

I read the FDA's charter the other night, and it was byzantine. However, the spirit of their charter is clear: they're supposed to protect the consumer from harmful substances in food, drugs, and health care products. Instead they've left us at the mercy of these corporate giants who spend millions on advertising to convince us that they love our children as much as we do. "The Family Company" my ass.

babidom
babidom

what?!! the stuff i've so carefully chosen and is now using on my baby has formaldehyde???