J&J Commits to Removing Chemicals From More Products

As a follow up to its move to remove particular chemicals from its baby care products, Johnson & Johnson, owner of beauty brands including Aveeno, Neutrogena, Lubriderm, RoC, Ambi Skincare and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, announced it will be removing carcinogens and other toxic chemicals from all its baby and adult products globally. J&J also launched www.safetyandcarecommitment.com, a website initiative aimed at helping consumers better understand all the measures J&J takes to make its beauty and baby care products as safe as can be.

"There’s a public discussion underway about the ingredients in beauty care products, and we think it’s important to be part of that," said Susan Nettesheim, vice president of product stewardship and toxicology for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. "Consumers today expect more information and greater transparency than ever before, and we’re always listening to the people who use our products. On this site, we’ll do our best to explain how we make the choices we make and to show how our plans incorporate consumers’ feedback. We want all consumers to see for themselves how and why every one of our products can be used with peace of mind."

SafetyandCareCommitment.com includes information about how ingredients are selected and evaluated, and provides details on J&J's gold standard safety assurance process. The site will evolve and be updated to incorporate consumer feedback, the latest science, new regulations and new information about the company's policies. The site also contains information about J&J's approach to research, the extra care it puts into the development of products for babies and toddlers, and its commitment to sustainability, as well as the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies’ future plans for a number of ingredients that have been in the public eye. “We’ve decided to phase out or reduce certain ingredients that are safe by scientific standards and considered safe by key regulators around the world including the European Union, the U.S. and China. We’re doing this because we’re listening to the people who rely on our products, and if they have concerns, we’re committed to addressing them, as long as we can do so safely and effectively. We want to be sure people have peace of mind bringing our products into their homes and caring for themselves and their families. Nothing is more important to us," said Nettesheim.

J&J reportedly told the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics it will reformulate its cosmetic and personal care product, and has set an internal target date of reformulating adult products by the end of 2015. It will:

  • reduce 1,4 dioxane to a maximum of 10 parts per million in adult products;
  • phase out formaldehyde-releasers in adult products;
  • limit parabens in adult products to methyl-, ethyl- and propyl-;
  • complete the phase out of triclosan from all products;
  • phase out diethyl phthalate (DEP) from all products (no other phthalates are currently used); and
  • phase out polycyclic musks, animal derived ingredients, tagates, rose crystal and diacetyl from fragrances.

Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at the Breast Cancer Fund, a co-founder of the campaign, said, “We applaud Johnson & Johnson for its leadership in committing to remove cancer-causing chemicals from its products. We will be vigilant in making sure it meets its commitments and will continue to encourage it to remove other ingredients of concern. And we call on other cosmetics giants—Avon, Estée Lauder, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble and Unilever—to meet or beat J&J’s commitments and signal they take consumer safety as seriously as their competitor. As always, we encourage consumers to seek out the safest products for their families and support companies that are avoiding chemicals of concern.”

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics—a group of organizations led by the Breast Cancer Fund, Clean Water Action, Commonweal, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth and Women’s Voices for the Earth—will launch a national campaign this week challenging L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Estée Lauder, Avon and Unilever to follow J&J’s lead and commit to removing carcinogens and other harmful chemicals from cosmetics and specify a timeline for removal.

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