Chemicals in Baby Shampoos

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Why are companies still making baby products with harmful chemicals, when they can make them without them? Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo sold here in the U.S. and a few other countries contains dioxane and a substance called quaternium-15 that releases formaldehyde. The sneaky thing is that they already make this shampoo without those two ingredients and sell it to countries where the chemicals are banned, according to an international coalition of health and environmental groups.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has unsuccessfully been urging Johnson & Johnson – a conglomerate that is the world’s largest supplier of health care products, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals – for 2 ½ years to remove the trace amounts of potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Now the coalition is urging consumers to boycott Johnson & Johnson baby products until the company agrees to remove the chemicals from it’s baby products sold around the world, including in China and the U.K.

The campaign’s new report, “Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic,” was released last Tuesday, when the group launched the boycott via its website,

In response, Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are safe and approved by regulators in the U.S. and other countries, but that it is gradually phasing them out of its baby products. It said it is also reformulating baby products to reduce the level of dioxane below detectable levels.

Johnson & Johnson also makes a natural line of products, where it has eliminated dioxane. It also has doubled the price.

Personally, I always check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database to see if the products I am using on my toddler and infant are safe. This is an easy thing to do. Although, the baby shampoo I use on my kids costs about four times as much, it is concentrated and I only use a dime-size amount, so I find it lasts a lot longer than traditional baby shampoos. Plus, I believe the costs of using chemicals on your baby are much greater than a price tag.

For natural and safe products for your whole family, check out Village Green’s Body Care selection in store.




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March 2023