Consumer Pressure Leads to Historic Johnson & Johnson Change

For far too long, as we’ve reported here, many personal care products — shampoo, lotion, and more — have been made with chemicals that raise concerns for environmental and personal health. Chemicals that release formaldehyde are common, as are preservatives that are themselves carcinogenic.

But soon you might not have to worry as much. A great announcement last week:

Johnson & Johnson, which manufactures brands including Listerine, Neutrogena, and Aveeno, announced that it will be removing all carcinogens, and some other chemicals, from all its products by 2015. Big tip of the hat to the folks at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, whose years of pressure, coaxing, and dialogue have finally paid off. (And to the thousands of people — likely including some of our readers — who joined in bringing this issue to the forefront.)

But the fight isn’t over yet, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is calling on other manufacturers to follow suit. Learn more at their website.

Specifically, here’s what Johnson & Johnson has pledged to do. (You don’t have to know what these are to be glad!)

Reduce 1,4 dioxane to a maximum of 10 parts per million in adult products;
Phase out formaldehyde-releasers in adult products;
Limit parabens in adult products to methyl-, ethyl- and propyl-;
Complete phase-out of triclosan from all products;
Phase out Diethyl Phthalate (DEP) from all products (no other phthalates are currently used);
Phase out polycyclic musks, animal derived ingredients, tagates, rose crystal and diacetyl from fragrances.

Let’s hope this encourages other companies — or, even better, that it brings about a regulatory solution where NO cosmetics can be dangerous.

Photo credit: emmoff, via flickr

Leave a Reply