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Wonders never cease! Johnson & Johnson has actually followed through on their promise to remove big bad formaldehyde from their baby shampoo. Back in 2011, the company announced that in order to quell consumer concerns, they had decided to phase out formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in their baby shampoo. In 2012, the company made a second announcement about the phase-out, but honestly, this isn’t something we actually expected to happen. Amazingly, this week, The New York Times reported that Johnson & Johnson has indeed kept their promise. Their newest shampoo formula, in addition to 100 other baby products they manufacture, no longer contains formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane. Johnson & Johnson has also stated that they’ll be phasing out these harmful chemicals in most of their adult products by the end of 2015, and for once it’s believable news from a company, which is an awesome change and sets an entirely new precedent for companies who are still using toxic chemicals in their products. Sadly, Johnson & Johnson is still saying that they believe, “Small amounts of formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in food and personal care products are safe,” but the fact that in spite of this they actually made a change is still very significant.
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Is Johnson & Johnson perfect? No of course not. They’re not organic. They still believe chemicals are safe. They’ve taken quite a while to remove chemicals from adult products and they aren’t labeling products as well as they could. Yet, honestly, you gotta give them props. Many, many companies and the government make promises all the time to phase out chemicals in the products they make or regulate, but few actually do. So the fact that Johnson & Johnson has followed through is some bright news for parents, kids and anyone else concerned about chemical exposure. I mean consider Campbell’s Soup, a company who said they’d be phasing BPA out of their cans of soups marketed to kids back in 2012, yet we’ve seen little progress. Or there’s the FDA, who only banned BPA in kids products AFTER companies themselves had phased them out. Think about the government fails within the food, school and product regulation system or clothing companies who refuse to remove chemicals from kids clothing. We hope other large corporations take note and start caring more about their consumers by producing safe products that are free of harmful toxins.