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FDA gives baby products all-clear

CHINA'S drug watchdog said yesterday that baby bath products produced by Johnson & Johnson "will not present a hazard to consumers if they are used properly according to product directions."

Citing its latest test results, the State Food and Drug Administration said on its Website the products were safe considering the levels of both formaldehyde and dioxane they contained.

A safety assessment group tested baby bath products in the domestic market - including those of health care producer Johnson & Johnson.

The group of more than 10 experts on toxicology, dermatosis, cosmetics technology and chemical testing also tested products that included shampoo, body wash, hand sanitizer and detergents, all of which tend to contain higher levels of dioxane.

The level of formaldehyde in the tested products was far lower than the maximum concentration of 2,000 parts per million allowed by China's cosmetics sanitation criteria, said the administration, adding that the products were safe if used properly.

Some cosmetics were found to contain a slight amount of 1,4-dioxane, a substance prohibited in cosmetics in China, the administration said. But it did not give the exact amount.

The expert group said, however, cosmetics might be contaminated by dioxane during processing due to "technical reasons."

A report from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, China's top quality watchdog, said last month that the products were "healthy and safe," as only one batch of 31 batches of 26 Johnson & Johnson's baby products tested contained a small amount - 3.27ppm - of dioxane.

On March 12, a non-profit United States organization, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, issued test results on 48 Johnson & Johnson's baby products, including body wash, shampoo and soaps. Of the 48 tested products, 23 contained potential carcinogens.

Those contaminated products were alleged to contain formaldehyde and dioxane. The report raised concerns over the safety of Johnson & Johnson's baby products.

Some Chinese supermarkets pulled the products from their shelves.


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