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Baby Shampoo Containing Carcinogenic Chemicals

11.04.11 Baby Shampoo Containing Carcinogenic Chemicals

What if the shampoo you put on your baby's head every day contained chemicals that may cause cancer?

That is the case with Johnson&Johnson baby shampoo. The most iconic baby shampoo is under fire for containing harmful chemicals that may cause cancer or birth defects, thanks to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

This is certainly not a new story, as reported in the Huffington Post and shared across the internet. However, it is alarming to discover that Johnson&Johnson baby shampoo contains dioxane and quaternium 15. Dioxane (a likely carcinogen) is typically found in products that foam up and readily penetrates the skin. This chemical may cause cancer or birth defects and is a suspected kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant and respiratory toxicant. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that “the presence of 1,4-dioxane, even as a trace contaminant, is cause for concern." Quaternium 15, a preservative, releases formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) and an immunotoxicant that can cause burning, itching and respiratory reactions.

For babies, exposing their scalp to these chemicals is far more harmful because their heads are more permeable than an adult scalp. Tracey J. Woodruff, an associate professor and director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at University of California-San Francisco affirms this, saying, "You're exposing a child during a very vulnerable period of development, when the effect may be worse."

Also disconcerting is that Johnson&Johnson doesn't always put these chemicals into their baby shampoo. Huh? Johnson&Johnson sells the same exact brand of baby shampoo overseas to countries like Japan, Sweden and the UK without the formaldehyde. In other words, countries overseas have stricter laws prohibiting the use of harmful chemicals, compared to here in the US - and companies take advantage of that! This reminds me of the same double standard regarding toxic food dyes and preservatives used in US products but made (by the same companies) with safe natural extracts for products sold outside of the US. 

After years of pressuring Johnson&Johnson to remove these chemicals by Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and 40 other health organizations, the company is finally listening. Sort of. The first solution? Putting out a "Natural" version without the formaldehyde...but doubling the price!!

Obviously, that didn't go over so smoothly so now the new plan is to start phasing out the chemical. Phasing out is a start...but for us at MightyNest, it’s not good enough.

At MightyNest, we don't take chances on safety. We only promote and sell skincare that is free of harmful chemicals. That means there is NO trace amounts of foaming agents and bacteria killing preservatives that contain formaldehyde. No parabens. No triclosan. 

Furthermore, we extensively vet each product that we offer. We developled a rigorous 4-step process, and award the products that pass the test with the “MightyNest Trusted” Seal. We believe in the importance of trust, and do not take the trust our customers place in us lightly.  

How does this news about Johnson&Johnson baby shampoo affect your view about trusting the products you use? How important is trust to you?

To learn more on safe skincare, read Better Beauty Products or How to Read a Skincare Label for Toxins.

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