Cleans, Softens, and Causes Cancer?

cute happy bath baby;yellow duck

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?

Keep up to date with product recalls here.

Learn more about BPA.

Tips on going green with baby. 

What do you think?

Cleans, Softens, and Causes Cancer?

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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  1. Really sad that our children have to be the victims of a bad chemical reaction before a company changes its attitude and becomes more holistic in its product development and marketing. Time we planted fields of curative plants and herbs for truly effective and life-preserving products, than resort to ghastly chemicals and quick-fixes which merely paper over the cracks of a deeper malaise rooted in our greedy, materialistic and angrily competitive world.

  2. I think they need to make changes. This stuff should not be in our products at all. What good is it?

  3. Profile photo of Kimberly Kimberly says:

    I hate to tell you this but Aveeno is made by J&J and uses the exact same chemicals. So you aren’t doing your baby any favors

  4. Profile photo of ErinF ErinF says:

    I have a billion allergies and chemical sensitivities, and it seems like so many manufacturers add unnecessary fragrances and other potentially harmful ingredients to their products. I keep it simple for my own personal care and cleaning products (I love the versatility and cost-effectiveness of Dr. Bronner’s organic olive oil soaps), and plan on doing the same with the kids.

  5. There’s so much organic stuff out there for every price range that I’m surprised people still use J&J products. At first I was skeptical about shopping for beauty care products at health stores, but I found that so many organic brands are competitively priced these days that I wish I had done so years ago, rather than after my child was born!

  6. Profile photo of Kim Kim says:

    The best products I have found yet have been Seventh Generation…from laundry soap to diper rash ream, they keep it simple and natural…

  7. Profile photo of Margarita Margarita says:

    I go straight to the EWGs website "Skin Deep" before I put anything on my munchkin. Mostly California Baby, some Baby Ganics, Dr. Bronners. It kills me that so many baby products are scented for that "baby smell." Most of that stuff is so toxic, yet it is a default for newborns. Sure hope Johnson’s keep their word.

  8. Profile photo of Brittney Brittney says:

    I use Aveeno on my lil one.

  9. everything causes cancer these days. its hard to keep up.

  10. Profile photo of Kevryn Kevryn says:

    I think its great that major brands are trying to make their products better

  11. Profile photo of Jeanetta Jeanetta says:

    I try to always buy vegan personal care products and I’ll do this for my baby after she arrives,


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