So I have a guilty confession to make. When I have pregnant friends I like to go online to Babies R' Us and find their registries and see what kind of goodies they are registered for.
Yes, I do this even when I am not going to the shower and I am not buying them a present.
I know it sounds a little stalker creepy, but I even get excited when I see all of the goodies that "have already been purchased" for them. Like, I'm cheering for them because they are being gifted such amazing goodies.
One thing that always gets me is when I see the Johnson and Johnson's products. Don't get me wrong, I also had them on my registry years ago because like many other expecting mamas, I did not know the situation with them. As soon as I found out, I brought all of my unopened bottles back to Wal-Mart (who gladly took them) and found another solution to clean my baby.
So here's my question,
Do you know about the Johnson & Johnson's debacle?
Well I'll try and sum it up briefly for you, and then leave the decision up to you if you still want to use their products.
A few years ago J&J's got called out on the fact that their products contain a known human carcinogen. One of the ingredients in their product, quaternium-15, releases formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen that is also a skin, eye and respiratory irritant. Now let me answer the question that I have been asked before.
What is a carcinogen?
Good question; it is a cancer causing chemical.
There is another (hidden) ingredient, 1,4 dioxane that is a likely human carcinogen (basically it just hasn't been proven yet). So there you go folks, two cancer causing ingredients in the well known brand of baby shampoo that all mamas just can't wait to use. It smells good and because all moms have used it, we trust it. Since it's sold in the baby department at the store, we trust it.
Sadly though, it isn't to be trusted...
But it gets even better.
First off, this was brought to J&J's attention a few years ago and supposedly all products (meaning adults too) would not contain them by 2015 and they would start with the baby products to reach an end goal by end of 2013 (please see update at the bottom). Well as of May I know my products still had them and as of last month my aunt purchased a bottle that still had some. Also, please note that J&J's manufactures Aveeno, Neutrogena and more, and it has been found in some of those products as well.
And finally, the icing on the cake for me is that these ingredients are banned in other countries, so in order for J&J to keep their products on the shelves in these other countries, the ingredients are not found there.
So they CAN make it without those ingredients, it's just that our awesome government has no rules to regulate our stuff so they can get away with slowly poisoning us and our children. And I promise you that J&J's isn't the only bad product out there.
Sure it's a "small" amount, but consider how often you bathe your child. Those small amounts begin to add up. And it's not that only those are the bad ingredients, there are other ingredients in there that are very toxic as well - they are just not quite as "listed" or toxic heavy as the two in question. Unfortunately, this really is the case with so many other brands out there.
In addition to this issue with the bath wash, I'd like to share that their baby powder contains talc which has been linked to ovarian cancer and their lotions (like numerous others out there) contain parabens which are linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. Again, this is the case with MANY brands and products, but honestly, it's a simple fix with a little bit of research and label reading.
I personally want to provide my children with the safest products out there. With alarmingly high cancer rates, infertility rates, auto immune disorders, eczema and more, I want to give them products that will nourish their skin and not contribute to all of those issues that are an affect of toxin overload in our bodies. In our home we use Young Living products, but we also have used and tried the Honest Co., Shea Moisture and more. If you search, there ARE answers!
At the end of the day Mama, it's your call. Many of us just simply don't know and some of us know but don't mind it. If you want to know more, feel free to send me a message or scan your products on the EWG app, Healthy Living. You can also read the book Healthy Child, Healthy World to educate yourself on the dangers lurking in our personal care products.
I'm just here to open other's eyes because the more you know, the more you can do. It's always up to each and every mama to make the decision about what fits best for her family.
Want to know more scary facts about the products we use in our homes and on our bodies? Check out my post 12 Facts...
Update: ***The New York Times recently posted an article in Jan. 14, that they have removed the quaternium-15 in all of their products. Be leery of some on the bottles on shelves that may still contain it. HOWEVER, if you read the article carefully you'll find out that 1,4 - dioxane has not been removed but has just been decreased. Now, you will NOT find this ingredient on the back as it is not listed. I forgot to mention this above--it's one of those hidden things. In addition, the recent article still acknowledges that their lotions contain parabens which are also toxic. Parabens mimic estrogen and can be linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. They are found in the common forms of methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and heptylparaben. So while J&J's has removed one problem, they have only decreased another and still have parabens in their lotions (as do many other lotions). While I am happy that they claim to have removed the quaternium-15, I still hope you consider a more natural route for your little one and for yourself (these items are in MOST ALL mainstream brands). Toxic chemicals and preservatives such as these are only there to help them manufacture for less and have a longer shelf life with their products. There are alternatives that do not cost an arm and a leg. At the end of the day, it just depends on how natural you want to go Mama!