In light of a report released earlier this month regarding two known carcinogens in Johnson's Baby Shampoo, many parents are reconsidering their choices for what products to use when bathing their children.
The report, "Baby's Tub is Still Toxic," was released by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC.) It indicated that after two years of the group lobbying Johnson and Johnson to remove 1,4 dioxane and the formaldehyde releasing chemical quaternium-15 from their baby shampoo, the company has yet to do so. Both chemicals are known carcinogens.
In response to the report, Johnson's released a statement assuring parents that the shampoo is safe.
"What's most important to us is the bond of trust we have with the parents and others who rely on us to care for their families," the statement said, noting that the company has been "phasing out the use of preservatives that release tiny amounts of formaldehyde to guard against bacterial contamination." Johnson's also said that their Naturals line includes products that don't contain quaternium-15 and 1,4 dioxane.
The CSC argues, though, that Johnson's has eliminated their use of quaternium-15 and 1,4 dioxane in products for sale in select countries. In the U.S. and other countries though, Johnson's Baby Shampoo still contains these chemicals.
It's a good thing that Johnson's is taking action to remove these chemicals from their product, but I'm personally dismayed that it's taken two years, multiple meetings and letters from parents and organizations, and two reports on the toxic substances in the baby shampoo for the company to do anything about it. That indicates to me that "the bond of trust" between Johnson's and their consumers isn't the most important thing to the company. As usual, the main motivator is clearly .
But this is why it's so important for consumers to enact change through their . The executives at Johnson's probably realized when the CSC report was all over the news that their potential profits could be at risk. After all, parents want what's best and healthiest for their children, and despite Johnson's Baby Shampoo being advertised as safe and gentle, it in fact contains ingredients that have been shown to contribute to the risk of cancer.
And that's just one factor on top of many others. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the clothes we wear and the toys we give our children to play with all . And while they may be in trace amounts individually, they have the potential to accumulate and cause a myriad of health problems in the bodies of adults and children alike.
Trying to stay ahead of the next cancer causing chemical du jour can be a challenge. But for parents concerned about the Johnson's Baby Shampoo controversy, here are some organic and natural products that are much safer to use on your child's skin. Though they're more expensive than conventional soaps, avoiding the potential health and environmental costs of using products with toxic ingredients is worth the splurge.
Please note that the products below have a Skin Deep Cosmetics Database rating of zero on a scale of zero to nine, with nine indicating a high level of carcinogenic and/or toxic ingredients.
1. Healing Scents - Baby Castile Bath and Shampoo
2. Organic Baby - Conditioning Shampoo & Wash
3. Lafe's - Organic Baby Foaming Shampoo & Gentle Wash
4. Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics - Angel Baby Shampoo and Body Wash
5. Simply Pure Products - Pure Baby Body Wash
Editor's Note, November, 15- The first two paragraphs of the story were edited at the reporter's request.