Now the coalition is urging consumers to boycott Johnson & Johnson baby products until the company agrees to remove the chemicals from its baby products sold around the world, including in China and the UK.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has unsuccessfully been urging the world's largest health care company for 2 1/2 years to remove the trace amounts of potentially cancer-causing chemicals dioxane and a substance called quaternium-15 that releases formaldehyde from Johnson's Baby Shampoo, one of its signature products.
Johnson & Johnson has said it is reducing or gradually phasing out the chemicals.
"Johnson & Johnson clearly can make safer baby shampoo in all the markets around the world, but it's not doing it," said Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
The campaign's new report, "Baby's Tub is Still Toxic," is set to be released Tuesday, when the group was launching the boycott via its Web site, http://www.safecosmetics.org.
The updated report was based on an examination of label ingredients for Johnson & Johnson baby products in 13 countries.
According to the report, obtained by The Associated Press, one of the suspect chemicals, quaternium-15, is a preservative that kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde. Formaldehyde, used as a disinfectant and embalming fluid, was declared a known human carcinogen this past June by the US National Toxicology Program. Formaldehyde also is a skin, eye and respiratory irritant.
The second chemical, 1,4-dioxane, is considered a likely carcinogen. It's a byproduct of a process for making chemicals more soluble and gentler on the skin.
The campaign's May 2009 report, called "No More Toxic Tub," stated that studies by an independent laboratory it hired, Analytical Sciences LLC, found that 1,4-dioxane was contained in Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo, Oatmeal Baby Wash, Moisture Care Baby Wash and Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash.