Posted by: Chloe Schwabe | March 13, 2009

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Finds a Bathtub of Toxics


Photo courtesy of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Jordan challenged us in the Lenten action for Thursday to think about our consumption habits and what is coming in and out of our home. It is appropriate then that Thursday the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released No More Toxic Tub. the first report of its kind to find formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane contamination in a wide variety of children’s personal care products ranging from bubble bath to lotion to shampoo and hair relaxers. Some very popular brands, such as Johnson’s and Johnson’s baby shampoo were found to contain both of these chemicals.

Formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane are both known to cause cancer and both are contaminants in the products that do not appear on the label. Japan and Sweden have actually banned Formaldehyde from personal care products. The EU banned 1,4 dioxane from personal care products there. Bottom line- knowingly contaminating children’s bodies with cancer causing chemicals is unacceptable, especially when 1,4 dioxane can actually be removed for a few pennies more.

The first week of Lent, we opened with the passage about Jesus’s baptism. Just as we expect to be baptized in clean, holy water, we expect that our evening bath will be with clean water and safe bathing products. Cleanliness is supposed to be next to Godliness, and yet a tubful of toxic chemicals does not treat our children as the divine, vulnerable creatures that they are.

How can we as a Christians, or specifically as parents, make decisions to protect children’s health when we do not always possess the knowledge to make mindful decisions? Well, this report at least sheds some light on a few of the products out there.

Learn more about Cosmetics and the connections to the Christian faith on our web page.



  1. Really? Shouldn’t they pass a test or something to be sold pucblicly?

    • Yes, ideally the FDA would be testing all of the products but this is not the current law so products go virtually unregulated. Industry has set up the Cosmetics Ingredient Review Board to self regulate the ingredients in products. But this hasn’t worked out to well. That is why the cosmetics industry is one of the least regulated industries in the United States.

      Consider signing on to our letter from women of faith calling for a more protective policy.

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