Following years of pressure by consumer groups, cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson has announced it will be phasing out dangerous chemicals and cancer-causing ingredients from its baby and adult products by 2015.
Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at the Breast Cancer Fund, a co-founder of the campaign behind the push for the changes, called the move from the company "a major victory for public health."
Describing some of the ingredients to be phased out, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics explains in a statement:
Both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane cause cancer in animals, and formaldehyde was recently classified as a known human carcinogen by the U.S. National Toxicology Program. Phthalates, parabens, triclosan and polycyclic musks are all considered to be likely hormone disruptors and have been linked to a variety of health problems ranging from birth defects to diabetes, obesity and breast cancer.
Ken Cook, President of Environmental Working Group, lauded the decision, but notes that consumer safety shouldn't have to come from voluntary corporate measures.
“As encouraged as we are by this leadership initiative by Johnson and Johnson, we firmly believe that consumers shouldn’t have to depend on voluntary actions of good corporate actors to improve the safety of personal care product ingredients. That’s why we need Congress to adopt measures that will ensure that all consumer products are free of harmful chemicals linked to cancer and other health risks,” Cook said.