by Margie Kelly, Communications Manager
Last month, industry giant Johnson & Johnson made a stunning announcement: it was prepared to eliminate a "most wanted" list of chemicals from its beauty and baby products lines by 2015.
Johnson & Johnson plans to phase out preservatives like quanternium-15, which releases formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and triclosan, an antibacterial that may harm the human immune system. Another chemical that Johnson & Johnson pledged to eliminate is 1,4 dioxane, which has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer.
Johnson & Johnson contends the chemicals are safe and meet all government standards. However, as Susan Nettesheim, Vice President, Product Stewardship and Toxicology wrote, "…what matters most isn't what we think, it's what the people who use our products think."
For years, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics had been pressuring the company to make the switch. The Campaign's report finding cancer-causing formaldehyde in the iconic Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo raised a ruckus among parents who don't want to wash their children's heads with a notorious cancer-causing chemical.
As a result, Johnson & Johnson announced last year that it would remove formaldehyde from its baby products The latest news takes them a step closer to purging their product lines of dangerous chemicals. Kudos to Johnson & Johnson for their decision to make products safe.
Which brings me to Tide Free & Gentle laundry detergent and the Proctor & Gamble Company.
You've probably heard about or seen Tide Free & Gentle, which is marketed to moms with newborn babies. P&G spent millions advertising its "Proud sponsors of Moms" brand during the 2012 Summer Olympics, to great fanfare and celebration in the media.
Those ads never mention that Tide Free & Gentle contains 1,4 dioxane, the cancer-causing chemical Johnson & Johnson is phasing out of use. P&G is well aware that 1,4 dioxane is a chemical that should not be in its products. In 2010, the company reformulated Herbal Essences shampoo to eliminate 1,4 dioxane. Yet P&G has decided to leave the cancer-causing chemical in a detergent it markets to new moms.
Lori Alper, a mom blogger at Groovy Green Livin' and Healthy Child Healthy World Parent Ambassador, put up a petition urging Tide to get 1,4 dioxane out of its products. Nearly 80,000 people have signed the petition - will you?
Together we can get P&G to hear our concerns about cancer-causing chemicals in Tide and make the decision that Johnson & Johnson made:
"…we're changing them [chemicals] out because we're listening to the people who rely on our products, and we want to be sure they have peace of mind bringing our products into their homes and caring for themselves and their families. Nothing is more important to us."
Let's make Tide Free & Gentle safe for our families. Please sign the petition today!