Friday, May 6, 2011

Formaldehyde - Is it in Your Baby Shampoo, Too?

There is a very common chemical (1 among many chemicals) that is routinely used by traditional manufacturers . . . especially in their personal care products.
It’s called Q –15 (or quaternium 15).
It is a formaldehyde-releasing agent!

Formaldehyde is highly suspected of being a carcinogen and neurotoxin. On the low-end it causes skin irritation, headaches and migraines and on the high end . . . . .  cancer.
It is often used because it is a cheap preservative.
It’s even in many  Johnson and Johnson Baby products including their baby wash. It is in MANY things! These used to be some of my favorite products until I learned this information:  

Dove soaps
Many Toothpastes including Crest & Colgate Toothpastes
Baby Magic products
WalMart's Equate Brand baby products
Many Shaving Creams and gels - as well as many
Body Lotions

There are over 28 other names for this one chemical making it hard to identify on labels.
Some names include: Dowicil 75; Dowicil 100; Dowco 184; Dowicide Q; 1-(3-Chloroallyl)-3,5,7-triaza-1-azoniaadamantane chloride; N-(3-chloroallyl) hexaminium chloride; hexamethylenetetramine chloroallyl chloride; 3,5,7-triaza-1-azoniaadamantane; 1-(3-chloroallyl)-chloride.
Formaldehyde is a toxic substance that is not only found in personal care products but also in household cleaners and even cosmetics. 

Formaldehyde fumes can accumulate in poorly ventilated areas and can cause headaches, nausea, watery eyes, sore throats, lung irritation, and serious respiratory damage. Children exposed to the same levels as adults have potentially a greater risk of suffering adverse symptoms.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen (cancer causing agent), and yet there is no agency or standard regulating the use of formaldehyde or requirement to inform consumers that formaldehyde in used in the manufacturing process. Talk about frustrating! Here is more information about formaldehyde and the potential cancer risk (

  1. ^ Cahill J, Nixon R. Allergic contact dermatitis to quaternium 15 in a moisturizing lotion. Australasia J Dermatol. 2005 Nov;46(4):284-5. PMID 16197434
  2. ^ New Zealand Dermatological Society. "Quaternium-15 contact allergy". DermNet NZ. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  3. ^ E. Warshaw, et al. Contact dermatitis of the hands: Cross-sectional analyses of North American Contact Dermatitis Group Data, 1994-2004. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 57, Issue 2, Pages 301-314
  4. RMBarry 
  5. Environmental Working Group 
  6. EPA

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