Moms makes everything in order to protect their children during pregnancy, like avoiding specific foods, activities, and even skin care products.
In other words, once the children are born, parents obsessively protect them from every threat under the sun.
However, sometimes, by simply trusting the product labels to protect their family, parents unintentionally put their child in the path of danger.
Recently, a front running company famous for their family products, i.e., Johnson & Johnson, has faced lawsuits as well as public outrage over their baby products.
Despite Johnson & Johnson markets their products directly to new mothers, but they label a lot of their bath products as being baby-safe, as well.
Additionally, their soaps, shampoos, and lotions include questionable ingredients that are detrimental to the health of babies as well as their parents.
A nonprofit environmental research organization, The Environmental Working Group, actually lists concerns over Johnson & Johnsons’s multiple additive exposure sources; eye, skin, and lung irritants; endocrine disruptors; neurotoxins; cytotoxic ingredients; and bio-accumulative carcinogens.
To be more concrete, two of their most concerning ingredients are Quaternium-15 and 1,4 dioxane.
In addition, Quaternium-15 is proven to release formaldehyde, which is a well-known carcinogen, which results in burning sensations in the eyes, throat and nose; watery eyes; nausea; wheezing; coughing; and skin irritation. Also, daily exposure on this ingredient is related to leukemia and brain cancer.
Moreover, these are the other formaldehyde-releasing chemicals, which are used by Johnson & Johnson: imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, and DMDM hydantoin.
The Environmental Protection Agency emphasized that inhaling 1,4 dioxane triggers irritation of the eyes, throat, nose, and lungs, vertigo, headache, drowsiness, anorexia, whereas topical application may irritate the skin. What’s more, it’s also a possible carcinogen.
In order to avoid this chemical, it is advisable to keep an eye out for the ingredients like sodium laureth sulphate, PEG-100 stearate, polyethylene and ceteareth-20, sodium myreth sulphate, since they produce 1,4 dioxane as a byproduct.
The backlash of the public
When the public became aware that these harmful ingredients were lurking in their children’s cream and soap, outraged parents actually wrote to the company demanding more transparency as well as a change in their formula.
To explain you more deeply, on October 31, Johnson & Johnson received a letter, which was signed by 25 environmental and medical groups, by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, demanding elimination of the chemicals from all of its products by November 15, 2016. Plus, the consumers were urged by the Campaign to boycott Johnson & Johnson until they complied.
The company gave the following answer:
“The use of preservatives that release tiny formaldehyde amounts to guard against bacterial contamination have been phasing out. Furthermore, these preservative technologies, which are widely used in our industry are completely safe and approved in all the countries where they are sold. We already have decreased the number of formulations globally with these preservatives by 33% as well as in the U.S. by more than 60% within the past couple of years.
We have comprehensive monitoring to ensure that the amount of a trace by-product, i.e., 1,4dioxane, is below the level, which is considered as a safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regulatory agencies around the world as a part of the production process.
Nevertheless, we have introduced some new product formulations for consumers, preferring natural products, for example: JOHNSON’S® NATURAL®, i.e., a line, which is 98% natural and does not include any formaldehyde releasing preservatives or 1,4dioxane traces.”
Regularly read the labels of products
Unluckily, despite Johnson & Johnson, but there are also other companies that sell harmful baby products.
Hence, this issue was summarized by The Environmental Working Group:
About 82% of children are exposed each week to one or more ingredients, which may potentially harm the brain and nervous system.
Moreover, around 69% of children are exposed every week to one or more ingredients, which have a good chance to disrupt the hormone system, whereas 3.6% of children are exposed to ingredients with strong data linking them to cancer.
According to government and industry sources, 80% of children’s products marked as gentle and non-irritating include ingredients related to allergies and eye or skin irritation.
It is of a great importance to know that common sources of chemical exposure are the following ones: diaper cream, baby shampoo, sunscreen, lotion, and a plenty of other children’s body care products.
Children can absorb up to 10 times more chemicals from bath products than their parents, due to the fact that a child’s skin is 30% thinner than an adult’s.
According to the EWG’s vice president for research, Jane Houlihan, there is a good explanation why children are exposed to a lot of toxic chemicals every day:
“Children have an elevated risk than adults from various chemical hazards, but we don’t have special standards to protect them.”
Even more surprisingly, there are a lot of countries that have banned these toxic chemicals from their imported products, and Johnson & Johnson respects these guidelines.
While the U.K., the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, South Africa, Japan, and Norway have access to formaldehyde-free products, the company actually insists on providing American families with carcinogen-loaded soaps.
But, what can be done to avoid these products
It is advisable that parents should always read the labels on all the products they expose their children to, regardless if it is food, toys or hygiene products.
Of course, you should always use organic 100% natural products on your baby’s skin. You can also try making your own homemade products, for instance shampoo or toothpaste.
You should also consider applying coconut oil in order to prevent chafing, hydrate skin and cure diaper rash, instead of using baby oil and baby powder.