The law firm says it has started an official investigation into the use of potentially dangerous ingredients in a variety of baby personal care ingredients marketed by names such as Johnson & Johnson, P&G, L’Oreal and Kimberley Clark.
The move follows a class action lawsuit filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro (HBSS) against leading US personal care firms in response to a study commissioned by the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics (CSC), which drew attention to toxic ingredients in certain baby care products, including shampoo.
Although the study has been fiercely criticized by the personal care industry for being misleading, it suggests that dozens of leading children’s personal care products contain cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.
Aimng for safe baby care products
Keller Rohrback, which has built its name defending and championing consumer rights in the US, says that it wants to ensure that all baby personal care products sold in the US are formulated according to safe practices.
“There is absolutely no need for children’s products to contain cancer-causing ingredients when perfectly safe alternatives exist,” said Lynn Lincoln Sarko, attorney.
“It is outrageous to think that instead of bathing their children in soap, parents are actually bathing them in formaldehyde,”
The investigation has been instigated as a result of a study conducted by CSC called ‘No More Toxic Tub’, which tested a series of baby personal care products for the carcinogens formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.
1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde
According to the study 82 percent of products contained at least 54 parts per million of formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane – a level the body describes as ‘high’.
However, key figures in the industry believe that the study findings are misleading and have been misinterpreted.
Last month the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) described the study findings and the resulting publicity as a cynical attempt to prey upon concerned parents.
It argues that CSC has falsely attempted to position the report as ‘scientifically noteworthy’ and new.
It counters the study findings by pointing out that 1,4 dioxane is not an ingredient in cosmetics products but a by-product created from the manufacture of certain detergent and solvent ingredients.
FDA says its findings show no cause for alarm
PCPC also quoted the FDA as stating that 1,4 dioxane levels found in their monitoring of personal care products and cosmetics ‘do not present a hazard to consumers.’
On the subject of formaldehyde, the PCPC says it is not added to cosmetics but rather released in very small doses by the formaldehyde-releasing preservatives that are used.