The pressure from consumers for safer skin care products has forced Walmart to remove formaldehyde, triclosan and six other substances from their products, part of an effort to eliminate controversial chemicals from household goods.
The chemicals on the list include “certain properties that can affect human health or the environment,” Wal-Mart said in a statement Wednesday. The world’s largest retailer created the list with help from the Environmental Defense Fund.
Naming the chemicals follows Wal-Mart’s announcement in 2013 that it would ask suppliers to reduce some substances in personal-care, cleaning and beauty products and promote alternatives. The program is an example of widening scrutiny by merchants, manufacturers and legislators into the effect of chemicals, as well as a nod to heightened consumer concerns. In June, for instance, President Barack Obama signed a bill that overhauls the nation’s laws governing chemicals.
Under the Wal-Mart policy, manufacturers must list the targeted ingredients on packaging by 2018 and work to find alternatives. The program affects about 90,000 items made by 700 manufacturers. Already, Wal-Mart’s suppliers have removed 95 percent of the chemicals on the list, by volume weight, from products sold in U.S. stores that are covered by the policy. Freeze declined to provide specific examples of how manufacturers replaced chemicals with greener alternatives.
Procter & Gamble Co., largest maker of consumer products, already posts ingredient information online and has eliminated triclosan and diethyl phthalate from more than 99 percent of its products.
Formaldehyde is a carcinogen found in resins for wood products, building materials, paints and some consumer products like cosmetics. Triclosan, meanwhile, is a chemical used in antibacterial soaps, toothpaste and some cosmetics.
This is a welcome gesture by Walmart which should be followed by others. As we see, hundreds of cosmetic products are being marketed glamorously without naming the ingredients on the labels, that are potentially risk to skin health.
HerballyRadiant has been advising regularly that to ensure safety and reliability, all cosmetic products should display ingredients on labels to enable consumers to make informed choice. All Herbally Radiant products display the ingredients – herbs and Essential Oils – that go into making healthy and safe skin care formulations.