Manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson says it is phasing out the use of a number of potentially harmful chemicals, including formaldehyde, in products made for adults by 2015.
Formaldehyde and some other chemicals help fight bacteria and reduce the risk of irritation. Formaldehyde though, has been classified by the National Toxicology Program as a cancer-causing chemical.
In addition, J & J plans to phase out some ingredients in fragrances and an antibacterial substance used in soaps.
Many companies have long been under the gun to take action. Consumer and environmental groups launched stepped-up safety campaigns against shampoo and cream makers in recent years. But Johnson & Johnson is being praised by former critics for responding to calls for change.
The company has established a website to inform consumers about its actions and vowed last November to remove specific chemicals from its baby products by 2013.