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Consumer Group Challenges J&J on Chemicals in Baby Shampoo

May 26th, 2009 - Consumer goup Campaign for Safe Cosmetics delivered a petition representing about 1.7 million members to Johnson and Johnson on Friday asking the company to remove small amounts of carcinogens from the U.S. version of Johnson's Baby Shampoo. From the increasing volume of public discussion on safety and sustainability, powerful trends in greener materials use and product design are emerging.

Johnson's Baby Shampoo which is sold in the U.S. contains trace amounts of 1,4-dioxane (from manufacturing) and formaldehyde (released from the chemical Quaternium-15 used to kill bacteria), both of which the EPA lists as probable human carcinogens. The consumer group, representing more than 40 organizations ranging from the American Nurses Association to Friends of the Earth, asked J&J to remove 1,4-dioxane and any preservatives that release formaldehyde from their products by August, 2009.

Johnson & Johnson spokesman Bill Price says the company takes safety seriously, that many people do not consider tiny amounts dangerous, and that all J&J products meet or exceed the regulations where they are sold. The campaign says that the carcinogens are harmful contaminants and that the version sold in Japan is already reformulated to remove them.

In the letter, the campaign calls for greater transparency concerning all J&J products' ingredients lists, stating that "today's consumers are demanding products that do not contain hazardous ingredients" and that by addressing these concerns "[J&J] will protect public health, reduce pollution in our environment, and ensure [its] position as the global market leader in baby shampoos and body-care products."

Public discussion of safety and sustainability is shaping major consumer trends and is a topic at the Sustainable Brands 09 Conference in a panel on Transparency & Green Materials.

Discuss chemical bans, new laws, consumer and marketing trends, new materials and transparency commitments. What might these trends toward transparency mean for producers going forward?

J&J is sending representatives to the upcoming Sustainable Brands Conference. It's not too late for you to JOIN US at Sustainable Brands 09 in person or virtually. Please don't let anything stand in your way of joining us for this important gathering, at this pivotal time. Call us at the office at 650/344-9693 and let us find a way to help if we can.


Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]