Why would it take Johnson & Johnson 2 more years to remove cancer causing chemicals from its baby shampoo?
Two chemicals known to cause cancer in babies remain in Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo sold in the U.S, even though the company already makes versions without them in other countries. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has unsuccessfully been urging the world's largest health care company for 2 1/2 years to remove the cancer-causing chemicals (dioxane and quaternium-15) from Johnson's Baby Shampoo. Johnson & Johnson said it is reducing or gradually phasing out the chemicals, but it would take two more years to do so. That would be 4 1/2 years from the time it was discovered by Johnson & Johnson.
According to a report, obtained by The Associated Press, one of the suspect chemicals, quaternium-15, is a preservative that works by releasing formaldehyde. Formaldehyde, used as an embalming fluid, was declared a known human carcinogen this past June by the U.S. National Toxicology Program.
Formaldehyde is also a skin, eye and respiratory irritant, and Quaternium-15 is still an ingredient in Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo sold in the U.S., Canada, China, Indonesia and Australia, but research this summer found it's not in the same product sold in at least eight other countries, from the U.K. and Denmark to Japan and South Africa.
According to Analytical Sciences LLC of Petaluma, Calif., 1,4-dioxane was contained in Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo, Oatmeal Baby Wash, Moisture Care Baby Wash and Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash. Analytical Sciences also tested multiple Johnson & Johnson baby product samples from the U.S. finding the chemicals in many of them. Consumer groups in South Africa, Sweden and Japan stated that quaternium-15 was not being used in products in their countries.
There is evidence that formaldehyde is associated with nose, lung and blood cancers such as leukemia. An infant's scalp is more permeable than an adult's, so exposure to the chemicals cause more harm for babies than adults. To expose a child, during a very vulnerable period of development, when the effect is even greater, and at a time when Johnson & Johnson knows of its dangers, it still intends to take two more years before it stops using those chemicals in its products.
Do we need less governmental regulation, so that corporations do not have to go to the trouble of making products safe? According to Republican legislators, we do need less regulation, because it cuts into the profit margin.