Amid growing pressure from activists, Johnson & Johnson announced this week that it is continuing efforts to remove traces of two harmful chemicals from its baby products around the world.
A group of consumer and environmental bodies have been pressing Johnson & Johnson since May 2009 to remove two potentially cancer-causing chemicals from products including its signature Johnson’s baby shampoo.
The company recently removed two chemicals – 1.4 dioxane, considered a likely carcinogen and quaternium -15, a chemical that releases the preservative formaldehyde from products in several other countries, including the UK, Scandinavia and South Africa.
The campaign in the USA sought to push Johnson & Johnson to remove trace amounts of the chemicals sold in the US and elsewhere. Johnson & Johnson has conducted more than two dozen product recalls over the past two years, from problems raging from glass and metal shards in liquid medicines to painful defective hip implants.
The company had announced that it expects to remove all quarternium -15 from its hundreds of baby products within about two years and sooner for baby shampoo. The company’s long-term goal is to keep seeking new alternatives that don’t produce 1.4 dioxane in the manufacturing process.
Speaking about the risk to consumers from the two chemicals, Liam Moloney, Product Liability Solicitor said today “it is clear that children’s exposure to harmful chemicals is dangerous. The Irish Medicines Board should immediately investigate whether these products are continuing to be sold in Ireland and if so, whether they contact these chemicals. Under no circumstances should this product be sold in Ireland containing these potentially harmful chemicals to consumers”.