Cleans, Softens, and Causes Cancer?
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
In recent years, more and more people have begun to focus on the health and safety of the chemicals used in everyday products; from the foods we eat to the materials we use to package them. Continuing that trend, focus has broadened to include the personal care items we use to cleanse and care for ourselves – and our babies.
One of the market leaders in that area, Johnson & Johnson, has announced their plans to undertake a serious effort, unprecedented in their arena, to remove even more chemicals from their products. A new website, created to address these efforts, informs readers:
If consumers raise concerns about an ingredient, even if that ingredient meets government safety regulations and is supported by science, we’ll always listen. In order to protect your peace of mind, we’ll often set a goal of reducing or eliminating that ingredient, and developing new alternatives through our continuous research and development efforts.
After several years of product recalls, that have called into question the safety of their products, this is a move intended to inspire faith among consumers that the products are safe for their precious little ones. Despite the adherence to current standards for safety, more consumers are doing their own research and determining their own standards – and which chemicals they want to avoid in their personal care products.
These concerns are no doubt fueled by studies revealing more than the ingredients label suggests. For example, “In 2009, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition that includes the Environmental Working Group, analyzed the contents of dozens of products for children and found that many items contained two substances of particular concern: formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane. Consumers won’t find either listed on the back of their shampoos or lotions because neither is technically an ingredient.” Both have been linked to cancer in studies, and are released either over time or through the process of developing other ingredients for the products.
This will be a long process, with substantial work and cost involved. Obviously, the company believes that there is value in making these changes, to appeal to consumers as a brand ahead of the curve when it comes to product safety. Do you see the value?
How concerned are you with the ingredients in products you use for your children? Do you seek out products free from certain chemicals or do you feel the current guidelines are safe enough? What do you think of a major brand like Johnson & Johnson making these changes?