Johnson & Johnson, which makes a range of personal care products like baby shampoo, acne cream and antiwrinkle lotion, announced plans Wednesday to remove a host of potentially harmful chemicals, like formaldehyde, from its line of consumer products by the end of 2015, becoming the first major consumer products company to make such a widespread commitment.
周三，婴儿洗发水、祛痘霜和抗皱乳液等个人护理产品的制造商强生公司(Johnson & Johnson)宣布，计划在2015年底之前停止在其系列产品中使用包括甲醛在内的多种有害化学物质。强生因此成为第一个作出类似广泛承诺的大型个人消费品公司。
The company had already pledged to remove certain chemicals from its baby products by 2013, but the latest announcement extended the program to its adult products, including well-known drugstore brands like Neutrogena, Aveeno and Clean & Clear.
此前，强生已经承诺在2013年之前在其婴儿产品中停止使用某些化学物质，此次的声明则将公司的这项计划延伸至成人产品，包括在药店常见的品牌，如露得清(Neutrogena)、Aveeno和可伶可俐(Clean & Clear)。
“There’s a very lively public discussion going on about the safety of ingredients in personal care products,” said Susan Nettesheim, vice president for product stewardship and toxicology for the company’s consumer health brands. “It was really important that we had a voice in that.”
“公众对个人护理产品安全性问题的讨论十分热烈，” 负责强生个人健康产品品牌的产品监管和毒理研究的副主管苏珊·内特斯海姆(Susan Nettesheim)说，“我们应当在这样的讨论中表态，这十分重要。”
Environmental and consumer groups have for years pressured Johnson & Johnson and its competitors to remove questionable ingredients from their products.
“We’ve never really seen a major personal care product company take the kind of move that they’re taking with this,” said Kenneth A. Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, one of the organizations that has been negotiating with company officials to change their practices. “Not really even anything in the ballpark.”
环保组织环境工作组(Environmental Working Group)主席肯尼斯·A·库克(Kenneth A. Cook)说， “我们没见过其他大型个人护理产品公司像他们一样做出如此大的动作。连接近的都没有。”环境工作组和其他组织一直在与公司主管磋商，敦促他们改变他们的做法。
In 2009, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition that includes the Environmental Working Group, analyzed the contents of dozens of products for children and found that many items contained two substances of particular concern: formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane. Consumers won’t find either listed on the back of their shampoos or lotions because neither is technically an ingredient.
2009年，包括环境工作小组在内的 “安全化妆品运动”(Campaign for Safe Cosmetics)联盟化验了几十种儿童产品的成分，发现很多产品都含有两种有问题的物质：甲醛和二噁￼烷。消费者购买的洗发水和乳液包装背面都没有列出这两种物质，因为严格地说，它们不算是配方成分。
Formaldehyde, which last year was identified by government scientists as a carcinogen, is released over time by common preservatives like quaternium-15 and DMDM hydantoin, which do appear on labels. And 1,4 dioxane, which has been linked to cancer in animal studies, is created during a process commonly used to make other ingredients gentler on the skin.
The company also plans to phase out other ingredients that have been linked to health problems, including phthalates, which have a variety of uses, like lessening the stiffening effects of hair spray; several fragrance ingredients; and triclosan, an antibacterial substance used in soaps. Johnson & Johnson will remove all parabens, a type of preservative, from baby products and some other parabens from its adult products.
Ms. Nettesheim said the project was a major undertaking and would require extensive spending on research and development to find suitable alternatives to the ingredients, most of which are common in the industry. She said new suppliers needed to be located and vetted, and extensive testing was needed to ensure the replacements were also safe. The company declined to say how much the project would cost.
Then there’s the delicate task of tinkering with products that have been popular for generations. The company’s baby shampoo, for example, has been marketed for more than 50 years.
“Consumer acceptance is really important,” Ms. Nettesheim said. “It really doesn’t help you if you reformulate products and people don’t like it.”
Lisa Archer, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, said her group would continue to press other cosmetics and consumer-goods companies to follow Johnson & Johnson’s lead, including the Estée Lauder Companies, Procter & Gamble, Avon and L’Oreal.
安全化妆品运动的负责人莉萨·阿彻(Lisa Archer)说，该组织会继续督促包括雅诗兰黛集团(Estée Lauder Companies)、宝洁(Procter & Gamble)、雅芳(Avon)和欧莱雅(L’Oreal)在内的其他化妆品和消费品公司，以强生为榜样，采取相同做法。
In 2010, Procter & Gamble reformulated its Herbal Essences shampoos to limit the amount of 1,4 dioxane to only trace amounts, and its Tide laundry detergent came under scrutiny from some of the same groups because it contains small amounts of the chemical.
Johnson & Johnson’s decision requires the company to navigate a public relations tightrope, by portraying itself as willing to make extensive changes while simultaneously reassuring consumers that its existing products are safe. The endeavor’s success is even more critical because the company has experienced serious recalls and quality lapses in recent years.
“Even though as a scientist I will sit here and tell you these things are perfectly safe,” consumers are worried about reports that call her conclusions into question, Ms. Nettesheim said. “I understand that and we can’t ignore that.”
Mr. Cook, of the Environmental Working Group, disagrees about the safety of the chemicals. But he agreed that there is avid interest in the ingredients on the back of a shampoo bottle, noting that his group maintains a product safety database that has received hundreds of millions of page views. “This is them placing a bet that if they get out in front of this consumer interest, they’re going to win the marketplace,” he said.