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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Is your Baby’s Shampoo Safe?


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First of all I would like to thank one of my regular readers for bringing this to my attention. While I answered this question in short on my Facebook page. I thought it needed more in depth coverage. if you don’t want to miss any up to the minute coverage go to Facebook to like  Granola Catholic.

If you are like most moms you are probably using Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. I know I used it when my kids were young. I believed them when they said it was safe and all the no more tears part too. In fact I simply used it as a body wash too. They did not have such fancy things when my oldest was a baby. Along the way I have read and learned that the products that we consider safe and trust for our family may not be the best thing for them.

A little over Two years ago the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found released the groundbreaking report, No More Toxic Tub, which revealed that popular kids' bath products – including Johnson's Baby Shampoo – contained chemicals linked to cancer. They  promptly asked Johnson & Johnson to reformulate its iconic baby shampoo and specifically to remove the formaldehyde-releasing chemical quaternium-15. Currently they have reformulated their baby shampoo in European Union countries, most likely due to tighter governmental restrictions on chemicals in health and beauty products.

But as it turns out the name you trust, Johnson & Johnson may not be a brand to trust after all. A recent study done by the Campaign  Safe Cosmetics purchased Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo between July and of 2011, and reviewed the labels of Johnson's Baby Shampoo sold in 13 countries to see if the products contained quaternium-15, a chemical preservative that kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde.  They found out that Johnson's Baby Shampoo sold in the United States, Australia, Canada, China and Indonesia contains quaternium-15, a formaldehyde preservative, while Johnson's Baby Shampoo sold in Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the U.K. contain non-formaldehyde preservatives.

Formaldehyde was recently added to the U.S. government list of known human carcinogens by the National Toxicology Program, under the Department of Health and Human Services. Formaldehyde and quaternium-15 are also potent allergens that can trigger rashes and other skin inflammation problems. According to a peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association, quaternium-15 is “the most sensitizing formaldehyde-releasing preservative and has been repeatedly shown to be a strong allergen that can cause contact dermatitis. Seriously, and this stuff in baby shampoo?

I don’t know about you but even though my kids no longer use baby shampoo, this makes my hackles stand up. So if you are concerned what can you do?

  • Try the no-poo method. Currently my girls (11, and 13) and myself have been using this method for about 5 months. We are loving it. For directions on how to use it check here.

  • Vote with your dollar, don’t buy Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. Check EWG to see how your shampoo rates and look for a new one.

  • Sign the petition to get Johnson and Johnson to reformulate their shampoo.

  • Ask your congressman to support the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011.

 This post is linked to Your Green Resource


Dwija {House Unseen} said...

It's insane, isn't it? I got so worked up when I was reading about it this morning!

Good Girl Gone Green said...

It is crazy that crap can be put in our personal care products....Shame on you Johnson and Johnson and every other company that still puts profit before the well being of people!!!

Lacey said...

Thanks for this information. I use a natural based product (I'm Australian and it's locally made too - bonus) for my child which is loads more expensive and my husband thinks I'm crazy but this helps me feel more at ease about spending the extra money. There's no way I want that stuff on my daughter's skin. Don't they use formaldehyde to preserve dead bodies!? Found you through Green Resource at Sorta Crunchy - I'm going to poke my nose around your blog now :-)

Andrea @ The Greenbacks Gal said...

It really chaps my hide that they can do this. I started on the no poo method but I came up one day and the containers had been knocked over, so I reverted to the organic shampoo I was using. I need to go back. I LOVED my hair on the no poo method!

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I hate to say this - but my baking soda is a plastic container, one left over from food and washed out. I keep the vinegar in a spray bottle in the shower. I found this works out well for all of my no poo users.

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