Lobby group commends J&J decision to remove harmful chemicals

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Safe cosmetics Personal care Cosmetics

Lobby group commends J&J decision to remove harmful chemicals
Having received on-going pressure from the Campaign of Safe Cosmetics regarding the use of certain chemicals in its hair care products, Johnson & Johnson has now been commended for its announcement that it will remove harmful chemicals from its baby and adult products globally.

The Neutrogena brand maker formally announced it will remove a number of potentially dangerous chemicals from its US formulation portfolio​ by the end of 2015, becoming the first major personal care player in the US to make such a move.

The pledge focuses on two potentially hazardous chemicals, 1,4-dioxane and quaternium-15, which have already been removed from J&J products sold in most countries worldwide, but not in the United States.

‘Major victory’

“This is a major victory for public health,”​ said Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “We applaud Johnson & Johnson for its leadership in committing to remove cancer-causing chemicals from its products.”

“We will be vigilant in making sure it meets its commitments and will continue to encourage it to remove other ingredients of concern.”

Erin Switalski, executive director at Women’s Voices for the Earth, stated that it was a good start from the personal care giant, that could well see the benefit financially too, as she claims consumers value safety very highly.

Nneka Leiba, senior analyst with Environmental Working Group, and Cindy Luppi, director at Clean Water Action, also praised J&J but warned that stricter regulations need to be put into place and for more companies to follow suit.

Call on the industry

“Only stricter regulation of this $50 billion industry will ensure that all consumers are protected,”​ said Luppi.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has now turned its attention to the other big players in the industry urging them to follow in J&J’s footsteps.

“We call on other cosmetics giants to meet or beat J&J’s commitments and signal they take consumer safety as seriously as their competitor,”​ said Archer.

J&J has responded saying it will reformulate its hundreds of cosmetics and personal care products in all the markets it serves in 57 countries around the world, and confirmed to the Campaign that it has set an internal target date of reformulating adult products by the end of 2015, and it will use safe alternatives when reformulating. 

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