Excepting Pune Mirror,most of the English media were silent on the ‘process’ followed by Johnson & Johnson in the preparation of baby Powder.
Media was coy of disclosing that the product, baby Powder contained Ethylene oxide,a cancer causing agent, a Carcinogen.
This agent is used in baby Lotion,Baby Oil as well.
As I understand it is a chemical used to prevent the product getting spoiled.
This additive is used to increase the shelf life of the product.
But it causes cancer.
Many food and cosmetics contain this additive.
Am posting a blog on the ingredients to avoid in Food Products.
Check the product before you buy with this list.
Johnson & Johnson range of products,
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently cancelled Johnson & Johnson India’s licence to produce cosmetic products at their Mulund plant. FDA’s order will come into effect from June 24. According to FDA officials, the order was issued in a case dating back to 2007 when they found that 15 batches of Johnson & Johnson baby powder were sterilised by ethylene oxide, a known carcinogenic and 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,” said FDA joint commissioner KB Shende, adding that the company can appeal to the State government before the order comes into effect.
“The products are used for new born babies. It is must for the company to follow all measures,” said Shende adding that the traces of ethylene oxide, if any, should have been measured. The 15 batches in question consisted of 1,60,000 containers. When Mirror contacted Johnson & Johnson, the company spokesperson confirmed the FDA action.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our products and health of the consumers. We continue to manufacture non-cosmetic products at the same site,” the spokesperson said, adding that the matter in question related to a limited number of batches produced in 2007, shelf life of which ended in July 2010. “The FDA raised concern about following ethylene oxide treatment, which was not included as part of the manufacturing process submitted to the FDA.
This method is widely used for medical devices around the world. This was followed as an exception and all internal safety protocols were followed to ensure that safety of the consumer was not compromised.
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.”
Additional Inputs from.
Ethylene oxide is toxic by inhalation with an U.S. OSHA permissible exposure limit calculated as a TWA (time weighted average) over 8 hours of 1 ppm, and a short term exposure limit (excursion limit) calculated as a TWA over 15 minutes of 5 ppm. [29 CFR 19101.1048]. At concentrations in the air about 200 parts per million, ethylene oxide irritates mucous membranes of the nose and throat; higher contents cause damage to the trachea and bronchi, progressing into the partial collapse of the lungs. High concentrations can cause pulmonary edema and damage the cardiovascular system; the damaging effect of ethylene oxide may occur only after 72 hours after exposure. The maximum content of ethylene oxide in the air according to the U.S. standards (ACGIH) is 1.8 mg/m3. NIOSH has determined that the Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health level (IDLH) is 800 ppm.
Because the odor threshold for ethylene oxide varies between 250 and 700 ppm, the gas will already be at toxic concentrations when it can be smelled. Even then, the odor of ethylene oxide is sweet, aromatic, and can easily be mistaken for the pleasant aroma of diethyl ether, a common laboratory solvent of very low toxicity. In view of these insidious warning properties, continuous electrochemical monitors are standard practice, and it is forbidden to use ethylene oxide to fumigate building interiors in the EU and some other jurisdictions.
Ethylene oxide causes acute poisoning, accompanied by the following symptoms: slight heartbeat, muscle twitching, flushing, headache, diminished hearing, acidosis, vomiting, dizziness, transient loss of consciousness and a sweet taste in the mouth. Acute intoxication is accompanied by a strong throbbing headache, dizziness, difficulty in speech and walking, sleep disturbance, pain in the legs, weakness, stiffness, sweating, increased muscular irritability, transient spasm of retinal vessels, enlargement of the liver and suppression of its antitoxic functions.
Ethylene oxide easily penetrates through the clothing and footwear, causing skin irritation and dermatitis with the formation of blisters, fever and leukocytosis.
The median lethal doses (LD50, or a dose required to kill half the members of a tested population after a certain time) for ethylene oxide are 72 mg/kg (rat, oral) and 187 mg/kg (rat, subcutaneousinjection).
The Committee notes that estimated current intakes of ethylene oxide from the few food
additives containing it, conforming to present specifications, are very low. However, since
ethylene oxide is both genotoxic and carcinogenic, intakes from food sources should be as
low as possible. The Committee has been informed that the currently achievable limit of
detection for ethylene oxide is well below the upper limits of 0.5 mg/kg proposed for EHEC
or the 1.0 mg/kg currently specified for E431-436. The Committee therefore recommends that
the specifications of additives manufactured using ethylene oxide should be revised to restrict
ethylene oxide as an impurity to below its current limit of detection.
The Committee will comment on 1,4-dioxane, ethylene chlorohydrin and mono- and
diethylene glycol as impurities in additives in subsequent opinions.