Carcinogen Found in Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo


Apr 2, 2019


Image courtesy of Pixabay via Latestly

Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo has failed quality tests by Rajasthan’s Drugs Control Organization, which found formaldehyde, a chemical known to cause cancer, in samples.

Formaldehyde has been a known carcinogen since 2011; in 2014, in response to consumer pressure, Johnson & Johnson said it had eliminated the chemical from its products.

The watchdog, which has classified the samples as “not of standard quality,” urged other state regulatory bodies in a 5 March letter to recall the product, according to Mint, which first reported the news.

“The samples of cosmetics contains harmful ingredients,” the report states.

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Johnson & Johnson is contesting the findings, according to a spokesperson, and has implied improper testing procedures may have contaminated shampoo samples.

“The government did not disclose the test methods, details or any quantitative findings. This is concerning especially when there is no prescribed test method or requirement for testing formaldehyde in shampoo under the applicable standards,” the company’s spokesperson told Mint.

However, this is not the first time the personal care company, known for its baby products, has come under scrutiny for carcenogenic ingredients. In the U.S., the company is currently the subject of 14,000 lawsuits claiming its talcum powder products contain cancer-causing asbestos; while a 2018 ruling saw the company pay US$4.7 billion in damages to 22 women who claimed its talc products caused ovarian cancer, a more recently concluded case cleared the company of responsibility for a male plaintiff’s mesothelioma.

In response, India’s national drug regulatory body halted production of Johnson & Johnson’s baby talcum powder in December 2018, and launched a review of its wider product catalog.


Written By Liesl Goecker

Liesl Goecker is The Swaddle’s managing editor.


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