Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Poison in Baby Shampoo

Did you know I use Johnson Baby Shampoo?  I use it to avoid an allergy that I have to some preservatives used in shampoos. I often get rashes from the cheap hotel shampoo.

I was really surprised when I learned that Johnson's Baby Shampoo has two strikes against it for health and safety.

One is that it is using Quaternium-15 a preservative that emits formaldehyde as it degrades, and the second is that it contains > 4 ppm of dioxane. It should be pointed out that dioxane, a carcinogen, is not dioxin. Dioxin is the short name given to chloronated dibenzodioxins which are very toxic, but not very similar to dioxane, but it sounds similar.

Dioxane; found
in shampoos

Dioxane is an unintended biproduct of ethoxylation processes; these are used to make milder detergents. To make a gentle baby shampoo, sometimes this is needed.

Quaternium 15, is a complicated amine that many people are allergic too. It degrades into formaldehyde, because it was made from formaldehyde and simpler amines.

Susan Nettesheim from J&J says that there are only tiny amounts of formaldehyde and dioxane in the product, and that they will try to get rid of the problematic preservatives. I know that in polymers the industry has been switching away from these preservatives for years, and that J&J is behind the curve, although the replacements might be too irritating for a baby shampoo. J&J promised advocacy groups to do this.

In the meantime, I am going to continue using the Johnson's product, though I am worried about Quaternium-15.  I have no way of finding out which products have it, and which don't.