Johnson & Johnson has announced a plan to take harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde from products in 2015 by the end of the year, according to the New York Times. This will affect their Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Desitin, RoC, Lubriderm and Neutrogena brands.
Johnson & Johnson is the first large company to make this move.
This is not their first step in this direction, but it's even bigger than their earlier announcement that they will be taking some chemicals out of their baby products by 2013.
Vice president for product stewardship and toxicology for consumer health brands Susan Nettesheim said that Johnson & Johnson wants to be involved in the public's concerns about avoiding products that may be hazardous to their health.
Nettesheim indicated that this is an enormous undertaking, requiring considerable research, substituting better alternatives to the questionable ingredients.
Johnson & Johnson will be finding and testing new suppliers in the quest for safe alternatives. An additional challenge in this process will be to manufacture products that are acceptable to the public.
Formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, triclosan, 1,4 dioxane and some fragrance ingredients are on the list of ingredients that Johnson & Johnson is planning to remove.
Formaldehyde may continue to be used in products where an alternative has not yet been found. In these cases, the amount of formaldehyde will be limited to levels of 1,4 dioxane to below 10 parts per million.
Johnson & Johnson said that it marketed Johnson's Soothing Naturals products that have no 1,4 dioxane or chemicals that release formaldehyde. The company has also decreased the presence of 1,4 dioxane by 74 percent in products, and has limited chemicals releasing formaldehyde by 33 percent since 2010.
They have a new website Our Safety & Care Commitment where consumers can stay informed about what the company is doing in terms of safety of products.
Ingredients used in cosmetics are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.