The Obsession With Natural: How We Can Tackle Chemophobia

In 2013, Johnson & Johnson announced they had met their goal in eliminating the formaldehyde-producing preservative, quaternium-15, from their baby shampoo and other products. This was following a rise in people concerned with formaldehyde and its link to cancer – in 1980 its vapour was shown to be a carcinogen in the nasal passages of rats, and since then there have been many studies looking to investigate its carcinogen status. This outcry occurred despite the levels of quaternium-15 being too low to be considered toxic, and despite formaldehyde already being present in blood, and in much larger concentrations in several fruits. Nevertheless, Johnson & Johnson spent millions reformulating their products to ease the mind of the consumer.

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