We wrote a little while back about the new report that came out from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics regarding formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane contamination in baby care products. Many name brands that are abundant on every superstore and grocery store shelf in the U.S. Brands like Johnson & Johnson, Baby Magic, Gerber, and L’Oreal (400 ppm!!!). Their test results for Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, conducted by an independent lab for their “No More Toxic Tub” report, found levels of formaldehyde (200 and 210 ppm) that may be enough to trigger skin reactions in sensitive people, like babies. (Let’s not forget they are also known carcinogens) The formaldehyde in Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is likely a byproduct from the preservative Quaternium-15, which is used in many bath products. All the products tested in their report that contain Quaternium-15 had at least 200 ppm of formaldehyde.
Fun huh? Advocates argue that the levels in question aren’t harmful. Personally, I don’t care if they aren’t harmful to a flea… I still don’t want that garbage on my children. If there is trace amounts of feces in my drinking water do I still want to drink it? Not really.
Let’s not even get started on the fact that a vast majority of these products, whether they are labeled or tested or contaminated with formaldehyde or not, contain phthalates – hormone disrupting chemicals that are more dangerous to developing children.
Imagine then, learning that information and then finding out that Johnson & Johnson is running a big contest/campaign called The Big Bubblin’ Stars Campaign that preys on parents who haven’t learned this information, using the state of the economy and a $10,000 prize to push their chemically laden products. Complete with celebrity sponsors and participation from bloggers like the Walmart Elevenmoms. If they knew this would they still back up J&J’s contest?
This type of campaign reminds me that there are still so many parents out there who aren’t armed with the information necessary to chose the right products. Not only do parents need to be informed of what is in the products they are putting on their babies and kids, but the industry definitely needs to adhere to some stricter laws, more rigorous testing, and thorough product labeling that discloses ALL the ingredients. Period. Right now, there is no rules governing any kind of requirement that a chemical be proven safe for babies and kids before it enters the market. That needs to change.
We as consumers need to demand and refuse to tolerate it. We need to support the companies that DO care about our babies and kids and what goes on them. Rather than companies that whip up a chemical cocktail, mark it as “safe and gentle” and hope consumers don’t ever look up what “Cocamidopropyl betaine” actually is and what it does. Read up on The Smart Mama‘s analysis of the ingredients in everyone’s favorite Johnson & Johnson’s Head-to-Toe baby wash. After reading that you won’t even want to wash your car with it.
These companies need to be held responsible for their actions. The Kids Safe Chemical Act is where we need to focus our energy and get behind it 100%. This Act will overhaul our nation’s chemical regulatory law requiring industrial chemicals to be safe for babies and kids, make safety testing a requirement prior to hitting the market and will require testing of the already 62,000 chemicals in our products be re-evaluated for safety. Just to name a few. We’re talking to YOU PHTHALATES!
Who else is outraged? Not just us…