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Cancer Linked: Johnson & Johnson Talc Powder banned in US & Canada

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • Ask for opinion
  • Do Your Research – Google it!
  • Look at the Ingredients
  • Labels and claims on the products – Is natural and organic the solution?
  • Consult an expert
  • Conclusion

Introduction

Johnson & Johnson is one of the most renowned multinational consumer product companies, which makes everything from Tylenol to Aveeno lotions.  One of its most popular products across the globe known for its fragrance is the Johnson & Johnson baby powder.

Off late the company has come under a lot of scrutiny and scanner with regards to one of its most popular product Johnson & Johnson baby talc.  The product now faces thousands of lawsuits filed by patients who say that it has caused cancer.  This has enforced the company to discontinue this product in North America. 

The company has already paid millions of dollars in compensation; however the consumers demand strict action against them.  The main cause of this outburst is the presence of ‘asbestoses’ -a carcinogen that was found along with ‘talc’- a soft mineral; which is one of the prime ingredients.

The same applies to similar consumer goods and cosmetic companies responsible for manufacturing many such similar products.  The FDA last year issued several words of warning that asbestos has been discovered in numerous talc cosmetic products, including eye shadows. 

Cosmetic and the baby product is a multibillion-dollar sector, however companies and manufacturers have to be very careful with what ingredients go into these products.  These lawsuits and claims have made people and companies aware of the importance of the ingredients used in these products.  Hence organic and natural beauty products are gaining more popularity amongst masses these days.

This had led to enhancement and increase in usage of organic, non-toxic and natural beauty and baby products.  People these days have become more cautious and careful in selecting products that are meant for their babies or their personal use.  Below are the 5 things one should do before using any cosmetic or skin product:

1. Ask for Opinion

Studies show the best referral for any product usage comes from within your inner circle, family, friends, and colleagues.  They are the best influencers.  Plus they do share their personal experience and knowledge with you and these are definitely the people you can rely upon. 

Ask them about the product they use and what has been their experience (good or bad).  However don’t make it a thumb rule that whatever is referred is best for you or your baby.  This brings us to our next point, do your research.

2. Do Your Research – Google it!

With everything on your fingertips and click of a button away, researching is pretty straightforward today.  Do your research about the products you should use.  What are the product reviews and what the consumers all over the world think about it?  These days most information about the products, their reviews and usage are available on the web.  Just Google it!  Product reviews are everywhere so you know what products are good for you. But do ensure you are referring to reliable resources/websites for the information you get.  However if you are not sure, the best solution is to consult an expert.

3. Look at the Ingredients

Knowing what ingredients are there in the products you are using is essential and having little knowledge about it is very important; since the usage of certain ingredients, in particular, can be very harmful to your skin or body. 

It’s always suitable to use products that are labeled non-toxic.  The FDA has banned 11 ingredients that are classified toxic; the European Union has barred more than 1400 ingredients.

What toxic ingredients do is some ingredients in cosmetics, in particular, creates disorders, particularly in your endocrine system or hormones, Phthalates, Sodium Laureth sulfate, and PEGs, have all been linked to hormonal imbalance. Toxic ingredients can be carcinogenic, like asbestos which was present in talc, cosmetic ingredients like Diethanolamine, Formaldehyde, and Butylated hydroxyanisole are very harmful, so look out for these.  Here is a list of the unsafe ingredients which one should definitely stay away from:

  • Diethanolamine(DEA)
  • Phthalates like Dibutyl phthalate
  • Sodium laureth sulfate(SLS)
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole(BHA)
  • Chemical UV filters Octinoxateand Oxybenzone
  • Triclosan
  • Parabens like Propylparaben and Iosbutylparaben

 There are also ingredient checking apps that a person can download and check the ingredients for cosmetic products.  Some popular applications for the same are:

  • Think Dirty
  • Good Guides
  • CosmEthics
  • EWG’s healthy living

 

4. Check labels and claims on the products – Is natural and organic the solution?

Companies label products to be organic/natural/vegan so make sure that you are able to make a distinction or recognize which product to pick and which to not buy.  Here are some very useful inputs:

 

 

Organic

A lot of products these days market and label themselves as 100% organic. So make sure that these products are USDA approved.  To ensure that they are not nudging or being deceitful, please check if they have a USDA organic label on top of them.

Natural

Products claiming that they are non-artificial or ‘all natural’ are tricky to validate since natural products, in particular, have no regulations with any such claim.  So proceed with caution when considering them and always ensure that you check the ingredients. The best way to figure out if the claim is legitimate is to read the ingredient list very carefully. If the first 10 ingredients are something you recognize or organic then you are good, unless you are not too concerned about a product being 100% organic.

Certified Vegan

If the product has this label or claim, then its 100% free of any animal-derived ingredient and was not tested on animals.

100% Vegetarian

A product with this label does not contain any animal ingredients but may contain animal by-products.

Synthetic Free/Plant-based

As far as plant-based beauty products are concerned make sure your product is ‘Synthetic free’, then it means that they contain zero manmade ingredients.

 

5. Consult an expert

 

Once you have verified the information online, looked at all the ingredients and done your homework, if you are still unsure then consult a specialist/expert before you use any product.

If you are buying a beauty product and unsure about using it, you should consult an esthetician and discuss your queries with them.  You should never hesitate in consulting your Dermatologist/Doctor if you have any allergies or skin problems before using a product.

 

Conclusion

With such a huge competition in the market and so many businesses flourishing today, it becomes very difficult for a consumer to understand what is best in his interest. There are many products at the consumer disposal, hence it is very important to be aware as a buyer and make sure that you are using the right products.  With prominent companies like Johnson & Johnson under scanner these days, it’s important to make sure what you use and what you buy as a consumer and what you produce as a manufacturer. Gone are the days when people would just come and buy something by just viewing at a T.V ad. Consumers today are more responsible, better judges and very alert with everything happening around them.

 

 

 

 

References:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/19/business/johnson-baby-powder-sales-stopped.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/12/jj-colgate-ordered-to-pay-nearly-10-million-in-california-talc-case.html

https://thegoodfaceproject.com/articles/check-ingredients-in-cosmetics

https://blog.freepeople.com/2017/09/natural-vs-organic-vs-non-toxic/

https://blog.freepeople.com/2017/06/whats-deal-vegan-beauty/

https://www.bustle.com/p/5-apps-that-tell-you-whats-in-beauty-products-because-knowledge-is-power-11997650

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-07-24/assignment-j-j-targets-science-behind-thousands-of-baby-powder-cancer-cases-new-story

https://espritmagazineaustralia.com.au/cosmetic-science-australia-top-5-ingredients-to-watch-out-for-in-2018/

https://www.ceway.eu/cosmetics-ingredients-list/

https://www.sciaessentials.com/2018/07/07/science-of-skin-care-series-dr-bergers-corner-does-the-order-of-ingredients-in-cosmetic-products-matter/

https://www.makescents.co.th/2014/10/20/certified-organic-and-natural-cosmetics/

https://beautyramp.com/9-apps-to-optimize-your-beauty-and-skincare-routine.html

https://www.apa.org/news/apa/2020/03/conducting-research-covid-19

http://blog.clickdimensions.com/everyone-is-talking-about-word-of-mouth-marketing-should-you-too/

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