Formaldehyde is a clear liquid substance with a strong smell and highly flammable properties best known for its use of embalming dead bodies. It is also widely used in building materials, cleaning solutions, fabrics, insulation materials, glue and paper products. Also, it is used commercially because of its anti-bacterial, disinfectant and anti-fungal properties.
This dangerous substance is the last thing you think you would find in a baby product, but unfortunately it has been reported that formaldehyde is found in Johnson & Johnson’s “No More Tears” baby shampoo. Understandably, parents around the world were shocked and infuriated when they learned about this. To make things even worse, formaldehyde is a cancer-causing agent.
Many studies on formaldehyde conducted on rats have shown that it indeed can cause cancer, and people who work with this substance are at higher risk of getting cancer.
Given this, the government of the United States has officially labeled formaldehyde as such while the EPA, on the other hand, had it classified as a carcinogen since 1987.
After the accusations, Johnson & Johnson stepped out with a claim that they do use this substance in the shampoo, but in very small amounts that are not enough to hurt neither people nor infants, and they are still allowed to use this chemical in their “No More Tears” shampoo.
Now, they announced that they will be removing the chemical from their products, including the shampoo, but there is a bigger question: why haven’t they removed it until now, since the very product does not require for that chemical to be in its production.
And there is another suspicious thing with the timing of the events: California has just passed a law that required the cosmetic companies to identify as much as 160 (and more) chemicals that can be harmful to humans that they have previously keeping a secret.
Unfortunately, Johnson & Johnson is not the only company using harmful chemicals in their products. Many other are doing the same, but now that the changes in the products will cost Johnson$ Johnson tens of millions of dollars, it is not clear if other cosmetic companies are going to follow the same, or if they do, will they be able to afford so.