Cancer-Causing Agent Found in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powders

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By Ryan Inoyori | May 1, 2013 11:48 AM EST

The famous cosmetic brand manufacturer Johnson & Johnson loses its license in India due to an ordered case by the Food and Drug Administration after 15 batches of baby powder products were found sterilized by an irritant and cancer-causing component.

Food and Drug Administration or FDA cancelled the licence of Johnson & Johnson India to produce the product at their Mulund plant. The order will come to effect on June 24, 2013 and according to the FDA officials, ethylene oxide was found in 15 batches of baby powder produced which is labelled as carcinogenic and an irritant.

"While ethylene oxide can be used for sterilisation, the company did not bother to carry out a test after the process to check the amount of residue in the product. The products are used for new born babies. It is must for the company to follow all measures," said by FDA joint commissioner KB Shende quoted by Pune Mirror.

"We stay committed to manufacturing products that meet the high safety and quality standards followed by all our global manufacturing sites and meeting all local regulatory standards. We are working diligently with the agency to resolve this issue," the company spokesperson said in an email sent to Firstpost.com

What is Ethylene Oxide?

Ethylene Oxide is very important material used in large-scale chemical production. It also produces ethylene glycol, one of the components used in plastics. Ethylene Oxide has been used globally to produce solvents, lubricants, paint thinners and detergents.

How Dangerous Is It?

At room temperature, ethylene oxide is very dangerous; the chemical is flammable, carcinogenic, mutagenic, and irritating. It is an anaesthetic gas with a misleading pleasant smell.

What Effects Can It Do to Humans?

Unprotected and constant exposure to ethylene oxide can cause genetic mutation or DNA alternation which leads to cancer. It can damage the lungs and the cardiovascular system. Physical manifestation after exposure includes headache, vomiting, dizziness, sleep disturbances, leg pain, weakness, stiffness, sweating, liver enlargement and suppression of antitoxic functions of the body.

Should You Buy Cosmetics with Ethylene Oxide?

Normally, manufacturers test the residue of ethylene oxide on their products to ensure safety of their customers. Aside from checking the contents of what you are buying, always see to it that the product is registered to FDA including their mark of approval. It is best to use hypo-allergenic or organically made products. 

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