August 16, 2012

Formaldehyde free, finally

Great news today from Johnson & Johnson: they are finally giving us personal care products without the carcinogen formaldehyde, but we'll have to wait until the end of 2015. P & G had already removed almost all of that stuff we first experienced in dissection lab from my Herbal Essences shampoo a while back.

Johnson & Johnson had already pledged to remove certain chemicals from its baby products by 2013, but the latest announcement extended the program to its adult products, including well-known drugstore brands like Neutrogena, Aveeno and Clean & Clear.

Thank you, Environmental Working Group and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, for your continued pressure on companies to remove questionable ingredients from their products.

Formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane do not belong on our bodies, but they are technically not an ingredient. So consumers won’t find either listed on the back of their shampoos or lotions. Shampooing should not be a mystery. So kudos to J & J for taking these steps.

The company also plans to phase out other ingredients that have been linked to health problems, including phthalates, which have a variety of uses, like lessening the stiffening effects of hair spray; several fragrance ingredients; and triclosan, an antibacterial substance used in soaps. Johnson & Johnson will also remove all parabens, a type of preservative, from baby products. Parabens do appear on labels, so keep reading them.