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Johnson & Johnson Baby Products Toxic?

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Super-company Johnson & Johnson are in a tub full of hot water over their baby bath and skin care products, which are said to contain toxic chemicals and irritants.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics organization is encouraging consumers to boycott Johnson & Johnson products, on the grounds that they contain two harmful ingredients – dioxane, a byproduct of the chemical process that makes soaps and shampoos gentler, quaternium-15, which is a preservative that kills bacteria.

Dioxane is considered to be a carcinogen and has been linked to cancer development, while quaternium-15 kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde, which is known to cause irritation to the skin and eyes and is also categorized as a carcinogen.

Johnson & Johnson manufactures baby shampoo without these ingredients for sale in much of Europe, but dioxane and quaternium-15 are still included in the formula of baby shampoo sold in many countries including the United States, Canada and Australia.

According to Lisa Archer, the director of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the chemicals need to be removed by Johnson & Johnson immediately. “Johnson & Johnson clearly can make safer baby shampoo in all the markets around the world, but it's not doing it,” she said. “It's clearly a double standard, something they can easily fix.”

The company was sent a letter signed by 25 environmental, medical and other interested organizations, representing over 3.5 million people, asking for a commitment to remove the chemicals entirely from all their products by November 15.

In response, Johnson & Johnson said their ingredients have been approved by U.S. regulators, but they will begin gradually phasing them out of their baby products.

You can read more about the actions being taken on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website.

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