Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will stop or reduce use of several chemicals that advocates have long criticized the beauty and personal care industries for using in its products.
The global company, one of the largest of its kind, will stop or reduce the use of 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, parabens, triclosan, certan phthalates and other chemicals of concern by 2015. Johnson & Johnson products are sold under dozens of well-known brands, including Aveeno and Neutrogena, in addition to the namesake Johnson's Baby Shampoo.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a years-long effort by a coalition of health, environmental and consumer advocates, claimed victory for the company's decision, and pledged to step up pressure on other companies in the industry to follow suit.
Johnson & Johnson had previously announced reductions, expected by next year, in the use of suspect chemicals in children's products.
Advocates say a more comprehensive approach to regulating the use of chemicals in consumer products would eliminate the need for reformulating long-standing products.
Even a competitor known for its nontoxic and sustainable formulations, Seventh Generation, applauded Johnson & Johnson's decision. "We loudly applaud the tremendous work done by the Campaign to encourage this change," the company said in a statement.
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