Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo toxic?

It’s sad that consumer product companies are happy to use science but won’t defend it.

The anti-chemical extremist Campaign for Safe Cosmetics apparently tested Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo and detected quaternium-15, a preservative that kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde.

Clued-in to the release of the CFSC report, Johnson & Johnson issued this statement yesterday saying that it had already surrendered to junk science by phasing-out formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in 2009.

But whatever trace amounts of formaldehyde that may have been detectable in its products wouldn’t harm anything other than the targeted bacteria — it is the dose that makes the poison, after all.

Consumer product companies may reformulate all they want but until they deal with their actual problem — caving in to junk science-fueled activist groups whose agenda has nothing to do with product safety — they will always be vulnerable to spurious attack.

Click for the CFSC report.

Click for the J&J statement.

Click for more on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

3 thoughts on “Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo toxic?”

  1. The slightest hint that a baby substance might be toxic could kill sales overnight. You cannot claim J&J for giving way easily.

    Rich, what were your results? I take it from your post that the results were somewhere between the California and OSHA standards. I trust OSHA, who has a defined methodology for determining exposure limits a lot more than California, which has a nasty habit of knee-jerking. Also, what test method did you use?

    For once, I’m being curious, not hard-nosed.

  2. We agree on “it is the dose that makes the poison.” Have you tested J&J Baby Shampoo? The resulting exposure to formaldehyde will depend on many factors including temperature, surface area, ventilation rate, distance from source etc. It also depends on what you consider an acceptable exposure limit that “wouldn’t harm anything other than the targeted bacteria.” State of California sets that exposure limit at 7 parts per billion (ppb) and OSHA sets that exposure limit at 750 ppb. I can tell you that I purchased some J&J products in 2010 and tested them. To this day, I continue to use these products when I want a source of formaldehyde to exercise my formaldehyde measuring equipment. I’m concerned enough that I store these products in a well ventilated garage and do not allow them in my home.

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