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Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is dedicated to eliminating chemicals linked to serious health problems from beauty and health products

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has been hard at work and in the news lately, pushing for reform in the beauty industry. Thanks to the Campaign’s efforts over the past seven years, more than 400 companies selling cosmetic and other personal care products have removed potentially hazardous chemicals from them. Quite alarmingly though, a November 1 report from the organization revealed that Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo still contains formaldehyde-releasing chemicals in the U.S., Canada, and China, despite the fact that formaldehyde-free versions of the product are available in several other countries.

Amid pressure from activists, the Asbury Park Press reported on November 16, “New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson said that it is continuing efforts to remove two harmful chemicals from its iconic baby shampoo and other baby products in the U.S.”

According to a letter written by Johnson & Johnsonto the Campaign, it will:

J&J has pledged to remove all cancer-causing chemicals from their baby products

  1. Remove quaternium-15 and other formaldehyde-releasing preservatives from all of its baby products worldwide within two years.

  2. Reduce 1,4 dioxane in all of its baby products to less than 4 parts per million (ppm).  Long-term, the company indicated it will replace the chemical process, called ethoxylation, that results in 1,4 dioxane contamination.

  3. The company has already removed phthalates, a reproductive toxin, from all its baby products worldwide, including fragrances.

However, this commitment to remove harmful chemicals does not apply to Johnson & Johnson’s adult lines of products, including Aveeno and Neutrogena. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics also notes that other popular children’s bath product lines – including those made by Huggies, L’Oreal, Grins & Giggles, Baby Magic, Sesame Street, and CVS – still contain formaldehyde-releasing preservatives as well as 1,4 dioxane.

There are several companies whose products do not contain any type of hazardous chemicals, including Avalon Organics, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Glimpse, and California Baby products.

Stacy Malkin, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, says that “many companies are already making bath products without carcinogens, and that’s what all companies should be doing.”

Take Action

Currently the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is pushing for the Safe Cosmetics Act, federal legislation introduced this past July to update cosmetics regulations dating back to 1938. The updated Safe Cosmetics Act would ban chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm, as has been done in Europe. To learn more or to support the Safe Cosmetics Act, visit Campaign for Safe Cosmetics online.


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