Parents around the world were very shocked after they have learned that the Johnson & Johnson’s “No More Tears” baby shampoo contains formaldehyde. For those who do not know, formaldehyde has been proven to cause cancer and is best known for its use of embalming dead bodies.
But in order to find out what kinds of dangers might arise from adding a substance, such as formaldehyde, to baby products you need to look at the evidence collected from research that has been conducted over the past several decades. And, of course, you must start by understanding what formaldehyde really is.
Formaldehyde has pretty strong smell, and is highly flammable. Formaldehyde is a clear liquid which has been used in variety of different products, including building materials, cleaning solutions, fabrics, insulation materials, glue and paper products. Also, it is used commercially because of its anti-bacterial, disinfectant and anti-fungal properties.
But what about the link between formaldehyde and cancer? Is it as hazardous as people think or not? Even though the long-term research on formaldehyde is not completely finished, there are few signs, according to which, this compound is carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent.
In fact, the government of the United States has officially labeled formaldehyde as such. The EPA, on the other hand, had it classified as a carcinogen since 1987.
A number of studies have shown that formaldehyde indeed cause cancer in both humans and rats and studies of people, who work closely with embalming fluid, such as embalmers, have shown they have a much higher risk of getting cancer compared to other groups. So the facts are fairly clear when it comes to whether or not formaldehyde causes cancer.
Johnson & Johnson Scandal
Even though the company firmly claims that the amount of formaldehyde is not big enough to be detrimental to humans (not even infants), the fact is they are still allowed to use this chemical as long as it makes the baby No More Tears shampoo.
However, now, the Johnson and Johnson company has announced they will be removing the formaldehyde from the “no tear” shampoo and they will also remove it from one hundred other products in which formaldehyde is present.
The company’s step of removing formaldehyde from their products could be seen as a sign of positive intentions. But the real question is: why this compound has not been removed until now?
Obviously, the product does not require that particular compound to be manufactured because the company uses a different formula, which is formaldehyde free.
The timing, however, is suspectable because California has just passed a law that required the cosmetic companies to identify as much as 160 (and more) chemicals that can be harmful to humans that they have previously keeping a secret.
Johnson & Johnson is not the only offender when it comes to including harmful chemicals in body and bath products. There are some advocates lobbying for other cosmetic companies and want to achieve the companies removing harmful ingredients after independent researchers have found their products are still containing offending substances.
Johnson & Johnson said making the changes in the products it costing them tens of millions of dollars. This is why it is not clear if other cosmetic companies are going to follow the same, or if they do, will they be able to afford so.
Sources: Healthy Food House