Larissa Whipple launched a nationwide class-action lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson and I think we all need to pay close attention.
Most of you are familiar with OGX Hair Care products. I have a few in my own cabinet right now. According to Larissa the shampoos and conditioners caused her significant hair loss.
Read below via Fox 17
Little did she (Larissa) know, she would later end up filing a nationwide class-action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson over the shampoos and conditioners she says cause significant hair loss and scalp irritation.
At the center of the Illinois woman’s concerns is an ingredient found in the Johnson & Johnson products in question called DMDM hydantoin.
At least one ingredient in the products, DMDM hydantoin, is a formaldehyde donor known to slowly leave formaldehyde when coming into contact with water,” the lawsuit states.
Whipple says formaldehyde donors like DMDM hydantoin, which is sometimes used in cosmetics and hair care products, have been linked to allergies, rashes, hair loss, and cancer. The National Toxicology Program by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recognized formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.
Some of the products questioned in the lawsuit include:
OGX Biotin + Collagen Shampoo and Conditioner
OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner
OGX Anti-Breakage and Keratin Oil Shampoo and Conditioner
OGX Detox + Pomegranate & Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner
OGX Marula Oil Conditioner
OGX Extra Strength Hydrate & Repair
Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner.
The products are sold at stores like Target, Ulta, CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens.
Whipple insists since Johnson & Johnson targeted advertising of the product containing DMDM hydantoin to thousands of people who wanted healthy hair, the company may have violated certain consumer protection laws.
“Johnson & Johnson made a number of affirmative misrepresentations: that the Products [sic] contain special formulas (e.g. ‘Argan Oil, Biotin and Collagen, Coconut Oil, Pomegranate’) intended to nourish and revive damaged or dry hair, add softness and shine, and prevent frizzing and tangling; and that the Products ‘deeply nourish,d ‘gently cleanse,’ and ‘repair hair.’
However, the Products’ [sic] formula contains an ingredient, or combination of ingredients, that has caused Plaintiff [sic] and thousands of consumers to experience hair loss and/or scalp irritation,” the class action suit reads.
In what Whipple refers to as a “broken promise,” the lawsuit says that back in August 2012, Johnson & Johnson announced plans to remove DMDM hydantoin and other similar ingredients from its products by 2015.
“Johnson & Johnson did in fact remove DMDM hydantoin from existing consumer products at that time,” the lawsuit says.
“However, when Johnson & Johnson acquired Vogue International, including their line of OGX products, Johnson & Johnson failed to change the ingredient profile of the products that did not maintain the same standards for consumer safety.
Since 2016, Johnson & Johnson has continued to market, sell and profit off of the products that contain ingredients knew could harm consumers.”
In the preservatives section of Johnson & Johnson’s safety and care commitment website, the company claims DMDM hydantoin does not meet their safety standards for certain products in one portion of the webpage, but then further down on the page says they use DMDM hydantoin in products when other preservatives are incompatible with other ingredients in a formula.
What do we NOT use?
Many preservatives do not meet our safety and care standards. Examples of preservatives that we will not use in any skin care product include bromochlorophen, formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde, formic acid, bronopol, dichlorobenzyl alcohol, triclocarban, p-chloro-m-cresol, triclosan, methenamine, ketoconazole, silver citrate, thimerosal, chloroacetamide, 5-bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, and benzylparaben. In addition, examples of preservatives that don’t meet our standards for baby products also include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, and diazolidinyl urea.
What do we use?
As preservatives are essential and used in wide range of personal care products, it’s important that we choose the ideal preservatives for a given formula, and at the same time avoid the potential of overuse and overexposure to any single preservative.
We do this by maintaining a safe palette of ingredients that takes into account the need for a diverse array of preservative ingredients for our products. Examples of preservatives that meet our safety and care standards include sodium benzoate, benzoic acid, phenoxyethanol, benzyl alcohol, chlorophenesin; and methylparaben, ethylparaben, and propylparaben for adult products. When alternative preservatives are incompatible with other ingredients in the formula, we use DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, and diazolidinyl urea in a small number of adult products.
With the success of owning more than 250 subsidiary companies with brands like Neutrogena, Johnson’s and Tylenol, Whipple is asking why Johnson & Johnson kept using DMDM hydantoin as a preservative for more than a decade instead of using alternatives like derivatives of glyoxylic acid, sorbic acid, rosemary oil extract, lavender oil or grapefruit seed extract.
Her lawsuit even says the company reformulated their OGX products in other countries but not in the U.S. and “continued to conceal the dangers of the products.”
DMDM hydantoin is listed by the FDA as one of the preservatives found to cause the most allergic reactions from the use of cosmetic products. The FDA requires certain products to contain an ingredient declaration, but some ingredients may not be specifically identified and instead listed as “fragrance” or “perfume.”
Learn how to report an adverse allergic reaction to federal officials here.