Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has disclosed the specific chemicals they asked their suppliers to eliminate from their products. This is step towards removing toxic chemicals from household products.
Wal-Mart said in a statement said that the chemicals on the list include “certain properties that can affect human health or the environment.” The list was completed with partnership from the Environmental Defense Fund.
This move is a follow up to their announcement in 2013 asking suppliers to remove certain substances in personal care, household, and beauty products. The specific chemicals to be eliminated were not disclosed then. The policy pushed manufacturers to list the identified ingredients in the product packaging by 2018 and replace them with safer alternatives. Ninety thousand products from 700 manufacturers are involved. According to Bloomberg, 95% of the listed chemicals, by volume weight, have already been removed by suppliers in US stores.
This is of course a positive response to the growing demand by consumers and experts seeking for more information regarding products being sold. Wal-Mart joins various other big companies who are taking active steps in ensuring consumer protection from toxic chemicals.
The following are the eight chemicals on Wal-Mart’s list:
– Toluene, commonly found in paint thinners, nail polish, and fragrances
– Diethyl phthalate, used to increase flexibility of plastic and in cosmetics, insecticides, and aspirin
– Nonylphenol exthoxylates, surfactants used in industrial applications and consumer products such as laundry detergent
– Butylparabens, added in cosmetics as preservatives
– Dibutyl phthalate, a solvent
– Propylparaben, another preservative
The list intentionally includes only eight high-priority chemicals in order for Wal-Mart to make “meaningful progress.” But as the pressure from buyers and groups grows, we can expect the list to expand in the future.