Johnson and Johnson are well-known for their family products. But they have recently faced many lawsuits and public outrage over their famous baby products.
Parents go through a lot to protect their children even before they are born, during pregnancy. Once your children are born, you obsess over them even more.
But sometimes, by simply trusting the product labels meant to protect your family, you unknowingly put your child in danger’s path.
So what are Johnson & Johnson’s Questionable Ingredients?
Johnson and Johnson label many of their bath products as being “baby-safe”.
However, their range of products contain questionable ingredients detrimental to the health of babies and their parents.
The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental research organization, lists concerns over Johnson and Johnsons’s multiple additive exposure sources; skin, eye, and lung irritants; cytotoxic ingredients; endocrine disruptors; neurotoxins; and bioaccumulative carcinogens.
Two of the most concerning ingredients are Quaternium-15 and 1,4 dioxane.
Quaternium-15 releases formaldehyde, a well-known carcinogen that causes watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation. Daily exposure is linked with leukemia and brain cancer.
Other formaldehyde-releasing chemicals used by Johnson & Johnson include DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, and Diazolidinyl urea.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, inhaling 1,4 dioxane causes vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, while topical application may irritate the skin. It’s also a possible carcinogen.
To avoid this chemical, keep an eye out for ingredients like PEG-100 stearate, sodium laureth sulphate, sodium myreth sulphate, polyethylene and ceteareth-20, which produce 1,4 dioxane as a byproduct.
Does talcum powder cause ovarian cancer?
A Los Angeles jury thinks so. This week it ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to 63-year-old Eva Echeverria. She blamed her terminal illness on Johnson’s Baby Powder, which she used for decades starting at age 11. The company should have warned consumers about the risk, she argued.
The jury award is the biggest yet against J&J, which has lost most of a half-dozen trials involving claims that its baby powder and Shower to Shower powder cause ovarian cancer. The company denies there’s a connection between its products and the disease and quickly said it would appeal the Los Angeles verdict. Lawsuits involving thousands more plaintiffs are pending.
After the public became aware that theses ingredients were lurking in their children’s soaps, oils, creams and powder, outraged parents complained to the company demanding more transparency and a change in their formulas.
Furthermore, on October 31st, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent Johnson and Johnson a letter signed by 25 environmental and medicinal groups, demanding they “commit to removing the chemicals from all of its products by the 15th of November, 2016.” The Campaign also urged consumers to boycott Johnson and Johnson until they complied, but we have yet to receive a declaration from J&J confirming that all the harmful ingredients have been omitted.
Johnson & Johnson’s response:
“We have been phasing out the use of preservatives that release tiny amounts of formaldehyde to guard against bacterial contamination. These preservative technologies, which are used widely in our industry are all safe and approved in the countries where they are sold…Over the past couple of years, we already have reduced the number of formulations globally with these ‘formaldehyde releaser’ preservatives by 33% and in the U.S. by over 60%.
We are completing this reformulation as quickly as we can safely and responsibly do so. As part of the manufacturing process, we have extensive monitoring to ensure that the amount of a trace byproduct known as “1,4 dioxane” in any of our products is well below the level that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regulatory agencies around the world consider safe.
We have introduced new product formulations for consumers who prefer natural products, such as JOHNSON’S® NATURAL®, a line that is 98% natural, and contains no formaldehyde releasing preservatives or traces of 1,4 dioxane.”
However this new line of baby products comes after a lot of damage has already been done and cost nearly twice as much as their original products.
After exposing babies and children to deadly ingredients for decades, can this company really be trusted to produce safe products?
The Take-Away: Always Read your Labels
It should be noted that Johnson and Johnson isn’t the only company to sell dangerous baby products.
The Environmental Working Group summarizes this problem as:
- 82% of children are exposed every week to one or more ingredients with the potential to harm the brain and nervous system.
- 69% of children are exposed every week to one or more ingredients that may disrupt the hormone system, and 3.6% of children are exposed to ingredients with strong data linking them to cancer, including chemicals classified as known or probable human carcinogens.
- 80% of children’s products marked as gentle and non-irritating contain ingredients linked to allergies and skin or eye irritation according to government and industry sources.
Common sources of chemical exposure include baby shampoo, lotion, diaper cream, sunscreen, and other children’s body care products, as well as general baby products.
And Remember Your Children are more at Risk
Because a child’s skin is 30 percent thinner than an adult’s, children can absorb up to 10 times more chemicals from skin and bath products than their parents.
Jane Houlihan, EWG’s vice president for research explains why children are exposed to so many toxins on a daily basis. “Children are more at risk than adults from many chemical hazards, but we have no special standards to protect them.”
“The safety of baby products fall under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but unlike for drugs and food additives, the FDA has no power to require that cosmetics are tested for safety before they are sold. And due to other loopholes in the law, manufacturers are free to use any claim they wish, such as ‘safe’ and ‘ultra mild’ without proof, and many do just that.”, warns the EWG.
Most surprisingly, many countries banned these harmful chemicals from their imported products, and Johnson and Johnson respects these guidelines.
This means that most companies already have manufacturing facilities and recipes that respect the sensitivities and needs of children.
While Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the U.K. have access to safer products, the company insists on providing American families with carcinogen-loaded soaps.
Finally What You as A Parent Can do
You should always read the labels on all the products you expose your children to, whether it be food, hygiene products, toys or furniture.
Always use all organic 100% natural products on your baby’s skin to shield your baby from harm’s way.
TIP: You can try making your own household products like shampoo or toothpaste.
Instead of using baby oil and baby powder, try applying coconut oil to prevent chafing, hydrate skin, and cure diaper rash! Olive oil works wonders for dry skin and moisturizing hair too, and should guarantee no allergic reactions if your little one is sensitive!
If you are too preoccupied you can always use our recommended products that are 100% natural. It could not be easier, we have done all the research for you. Just click on the organic product you wish to purchase below!