Is $72M enough? What about real regulation and change?

What a shame – Johnson & Johnson has made worldwide news once again for questionable ingredients in one of their popular products. I’m sure by now you’ve already heard about it but let me enlighten you a bit on how deep this disappointment runs.

In May 2009 The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics began putting pressure on Johnson & Johnson to remove questionable and dangerous ingredients from their personal care products used for babies and adults. Three years later in 2012, the company agreed to eliminate the following ingredients: 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde (both considered probable cancer causing ingredients). Wait…FORMALDEHYDE!!!!! Yes, that’s right. But they agreed to have these removed by 2015! Why wait? Why on earth did it take years to simply stop making products with these dangerous ingredients? After five hours of deliberation, the jury in Missouri awarded $72M (yesterday) in the case linking their talc-based baby powder to the ovarian cancer death of a long time customer (a foster mother). This verdict is the first of it's kind in the United States. Johnson & Johnson still faces over 1200 pending similar lawsuits. It was stated in court that they knew as far back as the 1980's of the risk but they continued to not be truthful to the public and regulatory agencies. Their conduct and lack of taking immediate action to make their products safe is very concerning. Why did they think this was okay?

Since I love to research, I did a little more digging and found the following: Here are some of its health hazard cautions: (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

1,4-dioxane

  •  Acute inhalation exposure to high levels of 1,4-dioxane has caused vertigo and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs in humans.  It may also irritate the skin.
  • Some symptoms of poisoning include the irritation of the upper respiratory passages, coughing, irritation of eyes, drowsiness, vertigo, headache, anorexia, stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, coma, and death
  •  Liver carcinomas (cancer) and gallbladder carcinomas were observed in mice and guinea pigs.

Formaldehyde

  • Colorless, strong smell
  • Found in building material, paint, glue, dish washing liquid, fabric softeners, fertilizers and pesticides, gas stoves, kerosene space heaters, cigarette smoke (to name a few).
  • Can cause skin, eye, nose and throat irritation. High level of exposure can cause some types of cancer. 

So I know many of you reading this post probably have used used Johnson & Johnson powder; I know I have, many many times. I remember seeing the elder church mothers with residue of powder on their cleavage upper chest and ALL the way up to the neck area LOL. I never understood why it had to be visible but I wander if they were using Johnson & Johnson powder. 

So what is the alternative? Talc is a widely used product in the beauty industry. It's also use in face powder! 

Alternatives to talc: I've also included where to buy - 

  • Kaolin Clay (Mountain Rose Herbs). I buy from them all the time. You can get 16 ounces for $6. 
  • Arrowroot Powder (Mountain Rose Herbs) You can get 16 ounces for $10. I've also seen this at my local HEB in the health food section.
  • Cornstarch Non-GMO (Essential Wholesale) I've purchased from them several times as well. You can get 3.5 pounds for $14.75.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Let me know if you try the alternatives and how you like it. They are much safer! 

~ Kim