Retail giant Walmart announced that it is eliminating a list of 10 toxic chemicals from beauty, personal care, and cleaning products. Suppliers will need to provide the retailer with a list of their ingredients to ensure that none of the chemicals make it to the shelves.
This move follows a surprising announcement last month by Proctor & Gamble Co., the world’s largest producer of personal care and cleaning products, that it will ban phthalates, triclosan, formaldehydes, and parabens from its products.
“Walmart’s decision to banish cosmetics and cleaners made with toxic chemicals will revolutionize the marketplace and help all of us live better by making safer products the new normal,” said Janet Nudelman, Director of Program and Policy for the Breast Cancer Fund and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, in a press release.
“Kudos to Walmart for responding to growing consumer demand for cosmetics, shampoos, lotions, make-up and cleaners that don’t contain chemicals that are harmful to our health,” said Nudelman. “Eliminating as many as ten toxic chemicals from Walmart’s inventory is a big step forward, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. We know there are many more dangerous chemicals linked to breast cancer and reproductive harm that should be removed from products, and both the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Breast Cancer Fund look forward to working with Walmart to ensure all of the cosmetics and personal care products they sell are safe for everyone.”
Walmart will be developing an overall policy regarding toxic chemicals which may involve additional chemicals to those that are already set for removal. Although Walmart hasn’t yet commented on what 10 chemicals will be banned, experts say that triclosan will likely be on the list. The list will be based on environmental sustainability and chemicals that have safer alternatives easily available.
“Wal-Mart’s policy signals a new era of going beyond regulatory compliance to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals,” said Mark Rossi, co-director of Clean Production Action, a nonprofit organization that designs tools to help companies make their products chemically greener on Huffington Post. “Companies like Wal-Mart are realizing they need to be proactive instead of reactive to the rapidly increasing consumer demand for safer products.”
The announcement was made at Walmart’s annual meeting on sustainability.
Image: Walmart Corporate