Formaldehyde Removed From 'No More Tears' Shampoo

Though Johnson & Johnson say it was never a real problem

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 18, 2014 2:40 PM CST

(Newser) – Concerned parents, take note: Johnson's Baby Shampoo no longer contains formaldehyde. The 'No More Tears' formula, which has sold billions of bottles across generations, has long contained preservatives that slowly released the carcinogen. But the preservatives won't be present in a new formulation of the shampoo heading to store shelves over the next few months, the New York Times reports. The new version also largely eliminates 1,4-dioxane, a cancer-linked chemical previously found in the shampoo as a result of lab processes.

Johnson & Johnson promised two years ago to get rid of both chemicals in baby products by the end of 2013, and it plans to cut them from all consumer products by next year. "A lot of companies say they’re going to do something, but in this case Johnson & Johnson actually did what they were going to do," says an activist for safe cosmetics. Despite agreeing to remove the formaldehyde, the company maintains it wasn't at dangerous levels. You get 15 times more formaldehyde exposure in an apple than in the baby shampoo, they say. "Will a kid get cancer because there’s formaldehyde in their shampoo?” asks another activist. “We don’t know the answer to that. But why is there a carcinogen in their shampoo? When in doubt, take it out.”

This file photo taken April 19, 2010 shows Johnson's No More Tears, baby shampoo in Philadelphia.
This file photo taken April 19, 2010 shows Johnson's "No More Tears," baby shampoo in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
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