Published on:

Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo Raises Serious Health Concerns

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys read with great concern about the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ recently-released report entitled “Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic.”

The statement asserts that Johnson & Johnson – the multibillion-dollar cosmetic corporation – includes two chemicals considered extremely harmful to babies in baby shampoos and other baby-oriented bath products sold in the United States. The report further alleges that the company has subsequently released a line of baby bath products that do not include the toxic chemicals, under the label ‘Johnson’s Naturals.’ This second line of merchandise is in fact sold in the United States, but costs twice as much as the original formula, which has not been altered to be made safe.

Johnson & Johnson is an American pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturer that disseminates packaged goods sold in more than 175 countries. The corporation is the largest healthcare company in the world, and has approximately 250 subsidiary companies, which include numerous household-known brand names of medications, first-aid supplies, toiletries, and beauty products.

According to the Detroit News and the Associated Press, the first harmful chemical is what’s known as quaternium-15, which is a preservative used to kill bacteria by releasing formaldehyde. Formaldehyde’s general use is as an embalming fluid used to preserve body parts and deceased creatures for scientific use, and was recently declared as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical) by the United States National Toxicology Program, as well as a skin-, eye-, and respiratory-irritant.

The second hazardous chemical, 1,4-dioxane, is also considered a likely carcinogen. Though it’s stated use is for making chemicals more soluble and gentler on skin, extensive testing has shown that it has strong links to cancer. Nevertheless, these two ingredients are still found in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo sold in the U.S., Canada, China, Indonesia and Australia. Moreover, 1,4-dioxane is also a component in Johnson & Johnsons’ Oatmeal Baby Wash, Moisture Care Baby Wash and Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash.

After more than two years of so-far unsuccessful urging by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, asking Johnson & Johnson to remove the potentially cancer-causing elements, this past Monday the Campaign sent a petition imploring the corporation to publically commit to removing unsafe chemicals from its products in all markets across the world by November 15, 2011. Additionally, the Campaign’s report was released to the public on the Campaign’s website.

In response to the Campaign’s plea, Johnson & Johnson released a statement saying that it is gradually phasing formaldehyde-releasing preservatives out of it’s line of baby products, but the Associated Press affirms that the company did not respond directly to the Campaign’s demands.

As a general rule, when a corporation manufactures a product and disseminates it to the public, that company is responsible for testing the merchandise prior to putting it on the market, and ensuring that when it is released to the public, it is reasonably safe for consumer use. If a product is made available to the public and, because of a flaw or defect the manufactured good, a consumer is injured, the corporation is responsible for the resulting damage. This is what’s known as products liability law.

In this case, formaldehyde has been linked to numerous types of cancer, such as nose, lung, and blood cancers. Furthermore, chemical ingredients in products intended for baby care expose children to toxins at a developmental period of life during which they are particularly susceptible to growth disorders and other ailments; these chemicals are potentially enormously more dangerous to infants than they would be to adults. If the use of Johnson & Johnson baby bath products are shown to cause or contribute to cause cancer in children, Johnson & Johnson could potentially be liable for injuries, medical expenses, and other related damages.

Our Illinois personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling Illinois products liability cases and have the knowledge and diligence to handle even the most complicated cases. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a defective product, contact an attorney immediately to obtain a better understanding of your rights under the law. Special laws are in place to protect consumers, and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.