NGOs challenge cosmetics companies to follow J&J in chemical phaseout

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

NGOs challenge cosmetics companies to follow J&J in chemical phaseout
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has, alongside the Breast Cancer Fund challenged five major cosmetic and personal care companies to phase-out or reduce the use of certain chemicals in their products, a move it says Johnson & Johnson has already made.

Last month, J&J announced it had set an internal target date that by the end of 2015 it will have reduced or eliminated formaldehyde releasers, certain parabens, 1,4-dioxane, triclosan, diethyl phthalate (DEP) and five fragrance chemicals from all of its products.

Meet or beat…

This campaign is homing in on Avon, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever, and according to its co-founder Lisa Archer; "is a major victory for public health​. We are calling on these cosmetics giants to meet or beat J&J’s commitments and signal they take consumer safety as seriously as their competitor​.”

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says that whilst challenging these cosmetic companies it will still remain vigilant “in making sure that J&J meets its commitments and will continue to encourage it to remove other ingredients of concern​.”

The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, currently circulating in Congress, will phase out chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm; implement a strong safety standard designed to protect children, pregnant women and workers; require full disclosure of ingredients; and give FDA the authority to recall dangerous products.

Cleaning up baby care

In November last year, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics issued a public complaint putting pressure on the baby care giant​ having found that it had removed two potentially hazardous chemicals, 1,4-dioxane and quaternium-15, from products in many countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, but in the US, China and Canada, traces were still present.

In a letter responding to the NGO at the time, J&J CEO Bill Weldon stated that the company planned to eliminate formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, such as quaternium-15, from hundreds of its baby products in the next two years.

Weldon also stated that J&J was working with its global suppliers to reduce traces of 1,4-dioxane, considered a likely carcinogen, to <1 to 4ppm, with most now meeting this standard. He claimed the goal of this research is to find an alternative to completely remove these ingredients from formulations in the future.



























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