The bathtubs and shower stalls of America aren’t exactly Superfund sites, but Americans are right to be concerned about what’s in the health and beauty aids they use every day. And in a move environmentalists said was the farthest-reaching yet, the consumer-products giant Johnson & Johnson says that by 2015 it will phase out questionable chemicals in its full line of products.
Under pressure for years from consumer activists, Johnson & Johnson had already said it will take certain chemicals out of its baby shampoos by 2013, such as the carcinogenic formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. Now the company has added adult lines such as Aveeno and Neutrogena to the list of products to be reformulated, and it will be removing other ingredients that could be health hazards, such as phthalates, parabens, and triclosan. Johnson & Johnson says it wants people to have “complete peace of mind.”
It’s never easy for consumers to tell whether the unpronounceable chemicals in their shampoos are harmful or harmless — but fair to conclude that it’s best to avoid at least some of them. Fortunately, outside scrutiny persuaded Johnson & Johnson to take another look. Other companies should quickly follow. Johnson & Johnson is proving that consumer activism can prompt companies to make such reassuring moves. No more tears, indeed.
So, it’s best to avoid those scary, unpronounceable chemicals…
What is Geraniol, Ethyl methyl phenyl glycidate, 2-methyl-2-pentenoic acid, Vanillin, Ethyl pelargonate, Isoamyl acetate and Ethyl butyrate and should we worry about it?
Guess that depends on how scary you find this particular recipe for strawberry flavoring, doesn’t it?