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Entries in triclosan (2)


Avon Phasing Out Antibacterial Chemical Over Concerns of Potential Adverse Health Effects

Avon is the latest company to begin phasing out the antibacterial chemical triclosan from its products because of increasing public concerns about its risks to human health and increasing evidence that antibacterial products are no more effective in killing germs than traditional methods like plain soap and water.

Photo courtesy of business-ethics.com.

Triclosan is an active antimicrobial ingredient contained in a variety of personal care products – including toothpastes, face washes, soaps, and deodorants – where it acts to “slow or stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mildew,” says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Triclosan is a chemical also commonly found in other consumer products, including clothes, kitchenware, furniture, carpeting, toys, caulking compounds, and sealants. It’s also used for industrial purposes as an antimicrobial pesticide in equipment including conveyer belts, fire hoses, dye bath vats, and ice-making equipment.

Among the biggest health concerns for people though still comes from the chemical being incorporated in personal care products, where increasing evidence shows that the risks outweigh any potential benefits.

Looking at antibacterial chemicals in soaps, Colleen Rogers, a microbiologist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said in a reported last December that “there currently is no evidence that over-the-counter antibacterial soap products are any more effective at preventing illnesses.”

The FDA report said that, “There are indications that certain ingredients in these soaps may contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and may have unanticipated hormone effects.”

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Johnson & Johnson Reformulating Personal Care Products To Remove Cancer Causing Chemicals

Years of public pressure has finally pushed Johnson & Johnson to ratchet up its efforts to remove several chemicals from its product formulations that have been documented as known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and environmental hazards.

Photo courtesy of medicsindex.net.

Much of the pressure has come from an effort by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in cooperation with the American Nurses Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and about 20 other parent and health groups asking the company for healthier changes to its product formulations.

Among the early complaints against the company, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics wrote a letter to Johnson & Johnson citing a report issued by the nonprofit coalition – No More Toxic Tub: Getting Contaminants Out of Children’s Bath and Personal Care Products – which documented laboratory tests that found chemicals including formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane (both highly toxic in large amounts) in Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and other products made by the company.

Both formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane are considered to cause cancer in animals and listed as probable human carcinogens by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Johnson & Johnson makes popular global brands including Aveeno, Neutrogena, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Clean & Clear, Johnson’s Lubriderm, RoC, as well as local and regional brands like Sundown in Brazil, and Le Petit Marseillais in Europe.

As part of the ongoing dialogue, Susan Nettesheim, vice president of product stewardship and toxicology at Johnson & Johnson, responded in a letter to the campaign, saying, “While we would still disagree with the science and conclusions in your letter and report, we want you and those who count on our products everyday to understand our commitment to safety.

“Our products always meet and often exceed the standards of the agencies around the world responsible for the safety of personal care products in the markets where they are sold. But we understand that the bonds of trust we have with the people who use our products often means going beyond safety alone.”

Nettesheim went on to say, “We listen to consumers, and respond to their needs and values, and their desire for products that are more sustainable and gentle on both people and the environment. We are continually making changes.”

Johnson & Johnson is in the process of reformulating its baby and adult personal care products to remove the following chemicals: formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, diethylphthalate (DEP), and triclosan.

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