Twenty years of activism truly paying off. With known harmful ingredients removed from Johnson & Johnson baby 'care' products, childhood asthma rates starting to decline.
Keywords: asthma, cure, cause, johnson & johnson, product, infant, child, baby
Date Created/Edited: January 3, 2016
It is finally extremely obvious the great villan tobacco was not the cause of the dramatic increase in asthma in our children over the last 30 years. While smoking rates dropped in half from 1965 to 2009, asthma rates increased dramatically, jumping from 2.5% adults/3.5% children in 1980 to 7.3% adults/9.4% children in 2008. Obviously, there's no correllation at all that tobacco use, or being around tobacco products, is a 'cause' of asthma, especially asthma in children.
It's been known for over 20 years that certain phthalates, formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane and other ingredients in products intended for use on children such as baby bath products, adult bath products and children's toys increase the risk of long-term resipiratory diseases such as asthma. After a constant barrage of activists voices to remove certain phthalates from children's bath products and toys, President George Bush banned certain phthalates known to cause asthma, as well as other respiratory and endocrine system problems, from products intended for children. Considering the banned phthalates are used to cause asthma in human lung tissue to study asthma treatments for humans, it was kind of common sense to reduce risk of asthma in children, the chemical used to cause it in the lab should be removed from children's products. Seriously.
I personally worked hard to push change in ingredients in baby bath products. That was back when I had a house, career, children, etc. My first article against Johnson & Johnson, the beginning of this entire adventure, began due to chemicals in their products that are KNOWN and PROVEN to cause asthma - namely, certain phthalates, formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. I helped promote the work of Breast Cancer Action, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and other organizations for removing known toxins from baby 'care' products. Twenty years of petitions, letters to editors, articles, content, sharing - determined not to give up until these ingredients were removed from baby care products.
Letters to senators, letters to Johnson & Johnson, letters to newspapers, and other activist efforts, may have helped educate consumers to avoid products with known harmful ingredients, but did nothing to get the ingredients out of products in conventional stores. The breaking point was not as I expected, that Johnson & Johnson would reformulate for US markets to protect the health and safety of our children... nope, not a snowball's chance on the equator. Obviously, they liked the revenue from asthma drugs, devices and products far better than the health and safety of our children!
The change did not occur until, get this, WALMART FORCED JOHNSON & JOHNSON TO REFORMULATE FOR SAFETY OF CUSTOMERS!. I have to say, at that time in my life I had never shopped in a WalMart. However, that earned a lot of respect from me and I now seek USA-made products in their stores. But the reality is that WalMart was afraid of the ever-increasing risk of lawsuits if they continued to knowingly carry products that would likely cause harm to their customers. Not quite people over profits, but profits over lost profits from lawsuits. Good enough - at least it's done.
Due to necessity to continue to be carried in WalMart stores and fill WalMart brand with their products, Johnson & Johnson was forced to remove known harmful ingredients in baby products in 2013 and adult products in 2015.
Now, finally, noticeable reductions in asthma in children - almost instant rewards of healthier babies, lives of better quality, saving money from lost work time and medical expenses - more money in consumer pockets and a better quality of life for entire families who won't have to go through the nightmare of children with asthma. The financial savings to society are HUGE considering average annual cost of each individual with asthma is around $3,300 - this is a massive savings on our national healthcare system, and consumer pockets. I wonder if we'll start getting some of our money back now that less is needed? Probably not, eh?
Rates of decline in vary across different economic and ethnic groups. There is a simple explanation regarding wealthy reaping rewards of asthma reductions first. Most educated wealthy moms buy green products and don't use the chemical-saturated cheap crap that was available in conventional stores. When I switched from cheap, petro-products to natural solutions, my son was no longer sick. Hm. Imagine that.
So, uh, while scientists claim to be stumped, it's kind of obvious that if you take ingredients used to CAUSE asthma to study treatments for asthma OUT of products, asthma rates decline. Well, gee, um, duh. It seems the cure is to remove the cause, pretty simple - and it obviously works ;o)
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