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Suit alleges use of banned substance in J&J shampoo

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Class action lawsuits proceed against Johnson & Johnson and Walmart for the sale of children's shampoo and baby wash containing methylene chloride, an ingredient banned by FDA. However, there is no legal basis for alleged damages related to the presence of 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde in those formulations, a New Jersey federal court determined. U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh is allowing claims filed by two women in Missouri and Nevada concerning methylene chloride because it is a suspected carcinogen that FDA banned from cosmetics in 1989. The plaintiffs allege that Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Walmart's Equate Tearless Baby Wash - both marketed as "gentle" and "mild" for babies - are contaminated with the compound, which manufacturers use as a solvent and propellant in aerosol products. According to the Newark, N.J., court, the plaintiffs "lacked standing" to pursue economic damages related to identified traces of 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde, which are permitted at certain levels in cosmetics despite pressure from some consumer groups

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