The Toxic Tub Report: An Update

May 26th, 2009


In case you missed the news over the Memorial Day weekend, take a look at this excellent reporting from the Associated Press on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics continued efforts to get 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde out of baby products. Late last week the Campaign delivered a letter to Johnson & Johnson’s CEO asking that J&J reformulate its personal care products to ensure they are free of 1,4-dioxane, phase out phthalates from its products,  reformulate its products to avoid the use of Quaternium-15 and other formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, and to switch to safer preservatives. (The last one shouldn’t be too hard since J&J is already selling formaldehyde-free versions of its products in Japan, where formaldehyde is banned in personal care products).

Click here to view the letter.

Back in April, the Green Moms Carnival blogged about this very issue – probable human carcinogens in children’s products. After that carnival, the industry spokespeople who somehow couldn’t find the time to directly answer our questions – even when we called and emailed – found the time to leave snarky comments on our blogs. You can read all about this here and here.

What’s happened since then?
– In late April, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Safe Baby Products Act, which directs the FDA to investigate and regulate hazardous contaminants in personal care products marketed to or used by children.
– A National Cancer Institute study reinforcing the link between cancer and formaldehyde was published in late May. Read more here.

No sooner was I done reading the great press coverage than I received an email from the Campaign, which reads in part:

“Normally a letter like this wouldn’t raise much interest, but clearly people are outraged that such a trusted product as Johnson’s Baby Shampoo could contain carcinogens. I think the Green Moms Carnival was really helpful in tipping parents off to this problem when we released the “Toxic Tub” report in March – thank you. We’re hopeful that the company will reconsider its position that “a little bit” of a carcinogen is nothing to worry about.

Thanks for your good work.”

Marisa Walker

Communications manager

Breast Cancer Fund

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

I was so thrilled to receive this note that I called Marisa to speak to her about the Campaign, and to thank her for taking the time to send this note to us. I’m very proud of the great work done by my friends at The Green Moms Carnival. Thanks again to all of you who participated in the Toxic Tub Carnival, which was hosted by Sommer at Green and Clean Mom. Thanks to: Jennifer our Smart Mama, Beth of Fake Plastic Fish, Jess from The Green Phone Booth, MaryAnne Conlin (aka @mcmilker) from EcoChild’s Play, Jennifer of The Green Parent, Katherine from the Safe Mama, Anna from Green Talk, Alicia from The Soft Landing, Karen from Best of Mother Earth, Micaela from Mindful Momma, Katy from Non-Toxic Kids, Diane from Big Green Purse, Alline of Passion for Green Business, Christine Gardner of moregreenmoms, Tiffany of Nature Moms, and of course, Sommer of Green and Clean Mom.

We’re not there yet, but what progress!

And that picture of J&J Baby Shampoo? How ironic that as I pulled up a stool at a neighbor’s home this afternoon, my view was of …well, what’s in that stuff anyway?

— Lynn

Copyright 2009 OrganicMania