Johnson's baby shampoo safe despite carcinogen traces

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The Drug Administration of Vietnam (DAV) announced Tuesday (November 29) that tests showed a carcinogen was not present in a popular Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo.

Tests conducted by the Ho Chi Minh City Medicine Testing Institute did not find 1,4-Dioxane in Johnson's Baby Shampoo, while a substance called quaternium-15, which releases formaldehyde, was at a safe level, the DAV said.

On November 4, the administration had ordered the tests on Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo after a US coalition of environment and health groups warned that the company had not yet removed toxic chemicals 1,4-Dioxane and quartenium-15 from its products despite demands for removal made since 2009.

Formaldehyde was declared a known human carcinogen in June by the US National Toxicology Program, and 1,4-Dioxane is another carcinogenic substance used to make products gentler on users' skin.

In its report published November 1, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics said its reviews of the labels of Johnson's Baby Shampoo in 13 countries showed that the US-based corporation had not removed the preservative in the US and several other countries such as China and Australia.

The coalition had found the toxic chemicals in Johnson's Baby Shampoo and many other children's bath products in 2009.

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Since then, the coalition, in writing or at meetings, has urged the company many times to remove the chemicals, and also called for consumers to boycott the company. In response, Johnson & Johnson introduced a new version of its product that is free of the chemicals and is now sold in several countries.

On October 31, the coalition once again sent a letter to the company, asking it to make a commitment that it will remove formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from all of its children's products in all markets around the world.

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