Tag Archives | Saffron Rouge

Johnson & Johnson – Building A Brand With Carcinogens

It became mainstream news today that Johnson & Johnson Baby Products contain carcinogenic chemicals (formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane) in their products sold on store shelves. We’ve talked about staying clear from Johnson & Johnson products at Mommy Footprint in this article, this article, and here. Here is the scoop on what’s gone down with Johnson and Johnson in the media today.

For two years, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has been requesting that Johnson & Johnson reformulate their flagship products….you see them at every baby shower and I’m sure they are still in hospitals and are used for a baby’s first bath:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And every time I’ve seen them at a baby shower I’ve stumbled through an awkward speech of why they shouldn’t be used on a baby.  Me “that shampoo has chemicals that really irritate baby’s skin”.  It’s an argument that really isn’t remembered by many new moms. Well thank you to mainstream media today, Forbes magazine, Healthy Child Healthy World, The Campaign For Safer Cosmetics, etc. are all writing the scary facts about these products: they contain cancer causing chemicals. And the sickest part of this is Johnson & Johnson knows how to produce formaldehyde-free products because the products they sell in many European countries, Japan, and South Africa are without these carcinogens. Yup – the formaldehyde ingredient called Quaternium-15 is found in the products sold in the U.S., Canada, China, Indonesia and Australia. So here is fact number one they know how to not manufacture not using Formaldehyde and a second chemical, 1,4-dioxane, that is considered a likely carcinogen. 1,4 in short is dioxin and a byproduct of a process for making chemicals more soluble and gentler on the skin. Fact number two that Johnson & Johnson knows how to make a product without carcinogens is their brand “Johnson’s Natural”. This more natural version of the Johnson & Johnson products don’t contain these chemicals, but the products are double in cost.

Do you know that Aveeno is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson?  This is likely the brand your family Doctor will recommend when you tell them your baby or child’s skin is inflamed or they appear to have the onset of eczema.  Brands like Oatmeal Baby Wash, Moisture Care Baby Wash and Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash also contain 1,4-dioxane. It’s terrible that a known side effect of formaldehyde is also a skin irritant. Ask around parent groups and see how many babies, toddlers, and children suffer from eczema and asthma – the numbers are out of control.  So many toxic products targeting babies and the bottom line is money. Johnson & Johnson has proved it by creating a product that doesn’t contain formaldehyde but continues to sell the products 1/2 the price of the more natural version.  It’s sick.  And even once they remove these ingredients, know that it wouldn’t have been done without the watch dog groups I’ve listed at the start of this article. It is these groups looking out for our children – not the companies.

Bottom Line?  Reward the companies that do care with your consumer dollars. Do not allow one more bottle of this sub-par product come into your home or purchased as a gift. Pull that expectant mom aside at the baby shower and quietly mention that the yellow bottle of shampoo contains cancer causing chemicals. Be blunt because words like ‘skin irritant’ and ‘product with chemicals’ doesn’t get people’s attention. Over the years, I’ve mentioned many companies that are doing the right thing by our families with producing safer skin care products for our children. Most of these companies are listed under the category called Childhood Eczema. If you don’t have time to read through the tips in these articles – here are some great places to start:

My Little Green Shop – They are offering 10% discount for Mommy Footprint readers. Just type MF10 at checkout for a discount.

Nayla Natural Care
– One stop shopping for trusted advice and products.

Saffron Rouge – Many great products and they offer low shipping and free samples.

Lalabee Bathworks
– Goat Milk and Essential Oils.

Green Beaver – Canadian made and with trusted ingredients.

There are so many  small companies that deserve and have earned your consumer dollars with their research and product knowledge. Sad that the huge companies are not looking out for customers, even though they are aware of what is going into their products. I know my site has many green minded parents that don’t find this information to be new, but check out the Facebook Fan page for Johnson & Johnson and you’ll see the connection they have with new parents, grandparents, etc.  They are a brand that is trusted and there is a tradition that comes with shopping at Johnson & Johnson..you can see it in the consumer relationships they’ve built.

So like always I struggle with the fine line of stressing out expectant or new parents with information like this – but I’d want to know. Wouldn’t you?

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This Valentines Season – Check Your Sex Toys

I’m always talking about PVC at Mommy Footprint. Usually I’m talking about PVC in childrens toys or everyday household products, but with Valentines approaching I’m going to stray from my regular tips and focus on an area that  contains PVC and phthalates this Valentines…sex toys. Probably one of the last products that will get banned if it contains PVC or phthalates (the chemicals used to soften PVC) because the subject isn’t talked about and hasn’t been ‘proven’ as dangerous for the government to regulate. I don’t have specific brands to recommend, but I believe sex toys are one of those products, if you didn’t intentionally purchase, labeled as eco-friendly, PVC-free, or phthalate-free – you might want to start researching your brand. One main reason I’ll quote from this informative and entertaining Tree Hugger video says it all “Labeling products as ‘novelty’, a gag gift not intended for actual use, allows manufacturers to elude responsibility for potentially harmful materials, and to evade government regulation.”  This is extremely valuable information because many of the novelty gift stores do very well on Valentines or people shopping for stag/stagette gifts and props.   Just like my post on tampons, think about how absorbent an area these toys are being placed in. Now think about a dangerous chemical leaching into your body’s porous areas. Jelly rubber is a very popular material used to make sex toys that contains phthalates – think of the new, stinky bathroom liner you’ve purchased and you’ve got the chemical that will off-gas from this cheap material. Sex toy experts or stores that are aware of the harm from these chemicals will actually recommend a condom to help protect you from absorbing chemicals….I mean that is just truly disgusting. Phthalates are already thought to cause reproduction problems/damage to the reproduction system and cancer.  These facts prompted me to write this article and I encourage you to spread the word among friends and family. Sex toys are one of those ‘not talked about’ products and where there are toxic chemicals hiding.

After doing my research it’s amazing to find out what is considered safer options with food storage is encouraged with new production of sex toys; stainless steel, glass, and silicone. These materials are all recommended for freezing food – I guess it makes sense that they’d be recommended materials to manufacture safer sex toys. Sensitive skin with organic lubricants would be a new area of concern for consumers. If you are looking for organic lubricant that doesn’t contain synthetic ingredients, Saffron Rouge can help with their brand of oil-based organic lubricant.  Thanks everyone, glad we could be grown-up and talk about this. 😉

Related Articles:

Dioxins… The Last Place You Want Them

Starting With The Bathroom, It’s Time To Chemical Detox!

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Starting With The Bathroom ~ It’s Time To Chemical DeTox!

I’m taking a question from the audience with this article because the timing is perfect!  Angie emailed asking where a mom that has no idea how to become eco-friendly should start?  With the number of new parents finding Mommy Footprint I’m going to answer this question room-by-room starting with the bathroom for several reasons  1) more than two years after writing the article ‘Phthalates  Are Making Big News in US‘…today Canada announces they will be eliminating the same class of 6 phthalates in our country 2) I find phthalates to be very scary as they continue to lurk in every corner of a traditional bathroom because they haven’t had the media spotlight our friend ‘BPA’ has been hogging for three years 3) I’m excited to point you to an awesome online store called Saffron Rouge that is making this change easy and affordable by carrying the largest selection of organic brands (that I love) online. Even savvy organics consumers should be thrilled to discover this store because you can request free samples and can ask questions through online chat!

Okay so first – why should a person detox their bathroom?  Once you understand that becoming more eco-friendly in the bathroom isn’t just about helping our environment by not washing chemicals down the drain, but more about not letting chemicals soak into your body…it’s much easier to not want to purchase that container of shampoo for $.99 at Walmart.  Or – and I cringe typing it – the Johnson’s & Johnson’s crap for the next baby shower you attend. The movement behind removing chemicals that surround your most intimate place of refuge (the bathroom) is not about ripping off consumers – it’s about trying to help them flush the phthalates (chemical from these products) out of your body.  Are you trying to get pregnant?  Are you pregnant?  Do you have young children?  You are the consumers being targeted with detoxing your lives…but how I see it…you are the perfect candidates for this action!  I still haven’t answered poor Angie’s question and if she’s new to Mommy Footprint…she might not be used to my rambling.  Here I go Angie…

Want to start a household detox of chemicals?  I would recommend starting in the bathroom. It will be the most affordable room to start in because you will streamline what beauty products you’re using and replace with less, while purchasing quality, organic items. Never throw traditional bathroom products away just to ‘green’ your life. Put them on a top shelf because we all run out of things and it’s the perfect time to use this stuff up! To start checking the products your currently using in the bathroom, you’ll need to discover EWG Skin Deep Database. This stands for Environmental Working Group and they created a database that ranks most beauty products…from shampoo, conditioner, makeup, sunscreen, etc! You might find that some of your products are actually quite safe and eco-friendly so they can stay. The products that rank poorly should go on that top shelf. Now what? If you’re a newbie – you’re finding the site Saffron Rouge at the perfect time because US customers get free shipping over $50, Canadians get inexpensive shipping rates, and you can request free samples of products when you place an order. (Do you see what I mean about the timing of this article? It’s perfect!)  If your plan is to simply replace traditional beauty products when they run out – you can skip the EWG Skin Deep Database checking because Saffron Rouge uses the EWG as one of their tools for sourcing so the safety is already in place for the consumer.

I’m a huge fan of one stop shopping so don’t only green your beauty products in the bathroom but purchase the only cleaner you need.  Yes, I’m still talking about Dr. Bronners and I’ll keep talking about it for a longggg time. It is the only cleaner I have in my house – it’s all you need and it’s so safe for your family!  This liquid soap (the cleaner) and the bar soaps (for body), body lotions, and shaving gels for men are all available here. So many of the brands available are amazing and it’s easy to narrow the scope with budgets and preferences because of the range that’s available.  So I’ve got you covered for personal care and cleaning in the bathroom. If you have a Glade Plug-in or other artificial air fresheners that plug into the wall or are sprayed in a bathroom (Febreeze, etc.) this is the rule breaker for putting on a top shelf.  These need to go immediately. They are so incredible toxic to your health, pets, children, fertility, and babies. To make a statement I would take them to the hazardous waste dept in your area,but if you don’t have time….just recycle. What is your replacement?  Open a window and put some plants into your bathroom.  Anything that is marketed to ‘air freshen’ is only masking odor with chemical fragrance ….only outside air can help ‘clean’ the air. Read more on plant suggestions and air quality tips here.

Daily products that have antibacterial ingredients should be looked at too. Did you know that washing your hands with regular bar soap is effective for fighting the flu and colds?  Some products that contain antibacterial properties also contain triclosan which is a chemical that was created for surgical scrub rooms in hospital? Children should not be using products containing triclosan or microban antibacterial protection. Two places to check in your bathroom are plastic handles (toothbrush, toilet bowl scrubber, hair brush, etc.) that are packaged with antibacterial marketing, containing microban protection. Triclosan can often be found in hand disinfectant or toothpaste. Gross I know and more information can be read here on these chemicals.

Since Angie does have children..I’m going to take this bathroom detox one step further. The bath toys sitting in your tub? Are they a soft plastic?  Chances are they contain phthalates and the chemicals that make the plastic soft are what Canada is legislating to have banned by the summer. Think of your child or baby sucking on one of those bath toys like a sponge with chemicals on it.  I’m sorry….but the image really helped me when I got rid of them a few years ago. I love bath toys because all my kids enjoyed playing in the water but the soft, plasticized bath books and bathtub toys need to go.  I’ve used the Green Toys tea set and Boon bath toys with my smaller children. Naturally finished wooden products made for the water are another great option for tubby fun for older children.

A few bonus tips for the bathroom include sanitary product recommendations for women.  Have you ever thought that bleach on a tampon is toxic and the place it’s going is super absorbent?  This was the only product I couldn’t finish using up after I researched the article about tampons and pads. The thought of the bleach just made my stomach turn. I wrote an article regarding why women should use more natural alternatives and if you ask someone that’s tried a Diva Cup or reusable pad – they love them!  Saffron Rouge carries natural personal lubricants, all-natural deodorant and highly rated sunscreens.  These products are difficult to source so spend some time and poke around their site.  You can’t beat their everyday savings and product knowledge experts that are available through on-line chat to answer your questions.  If you have any for me – please post a comment and let’s discover that a household detox is actually much easier than it used to be. Writing this article almost 3 years after first discovering phthalates and writing about them has me pleased that Canada is taking action against this chemical but at the same time I’m sad at the lack of consumer knowledge. Forward this article to the people you love and ask them to start a chemical detox. It’s not about consumerism…it’s about making healthier changes in our lives with products we need to purchase for our home. Feel the power of educating yourself and starting a chemical cleanse.

~

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Top Organic Sunscreen 2009

Last year I had a near impossible quest of sourcing where to buy organic sunscreen for my children when the hot summer weather rolled in.  California Baby was rated #1 by the Environmental Working Group for health hazard score (chemicals within the product) and sun hazard score (UVB and UVA) in 2008.  My quest to purchase California Baby in Canada turned up being very difficult, but after trying Badger Sunscreen and TruKid I was happy with my selections.  Because both of these sunscreen were so effective and safe for my kid’s skin, I was pleased, but one of my children complained bitterly about the very strong scent from the Badger sunscreen brand ~ so I’m always on the look-out for new products.  Since writing my article last July about sunscreen selection and safety, I’ve learned about a Canadian e-store that does carry California Baby Sunscreen called O’Baby Organics.  Since California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance SPF 30+, California Baby Sunblock Stick Everyday/Year Round SPF 30+, and Badger Sunscreen SPF 30+ were rated number 6, 7, and 8 out of a possible 1,104 sunscreens in the EWG skin deep database for 2009, they are definitely worth mentioning again.  Both of these brands have proven to be strong leaders in the cosmetics industry for not using harmful chemicals within their sunscreens, while providing very effective blocking for both UVA and UVB rays.

For 2009 the top organic sunscreen is Soleo Organics.  I’m so excited thanks to the EWG watch dog group, there is another tested and safe sunscreen option for families this summer.  Here is a picture of the Soleo sunscreen packaging, picture courtesy of Saffron Rouge website:

Saffron Rouge Organic Beauty is widely available to Canadian and US customers and they currently carry Soleo Organics Sunscreen SPF 30.  We love more options this year for non-toxic, safe sunscreens, so with the weather heating up this beautiful spring, start sourcing these brands right away.  I remember checking widely available American websites for California Baby products last year (Target, Amazon, etc.) and this brand was available by wait-list only.  Cross off one more product from your list, shop early, and ensure you are protected from the sun this year.  With parents having a heightened awareness that traditional sunscreens contain harmful chemicals, organic sunscreen companies are predicting stores selling out of popular brands early this summer.

For related articles:

Safe Sunscreen Guide For Children

Just Arrived – 2008 Safe Sunscreen Report From EWG!

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