Wal-Mart names eight chemicals to be removed from products

Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:50am EDT
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(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Wednesday it was pushing suppliers to remove or restrict the use of eight hazardous chemicals from products including household cleaning, personal care and beauty items.

The retailer named the chemicals including formaldehyde, a carcinogen found in wood products and building materials, in the wake of pressure from consumers who are increasingly becoming conscious of what goes into their food and household items.

Target Corp also moved last year to remove more than 1,000 chemicals from its household cleaning, personal care and beauty products, and has been promoting the products that comply.

The chemicals Wal-Mart wants to remove include butylparaben, used as a preservative in cosmetics, and triclosan, used in clothing, kitchenware, furniture and toys. Triclosan is also used in toothpaste, but Wal-Mart said it would not press for its removal because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulators have deemed it safe for this use.

Procter & Gamble, a major supplier to Wal-Mart, uses parabens within safe limits set by scientific and regulatory agencies and their presence is disclosed on labels, according to the company website.

It also said it had eliminated triclosan from more than 99 percent of the products where it was used and had an exit plan for the few remaining.

Wal-Mart committed in 2013 to increase transparency about ingredients in products it sells, advance safer formulations and attain the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Safer Choice certification for its private brand products.

The policy, effective from January 2014, focuses on products sold at Walmart and Sam's Club stores in the United States, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which said it worked with Wal-Mart to develop and implement its policy. (bit.ly/2auuSDA)

Wal-Mart said in April that its suppliers had removed 95 percent of the eight high-priority chemicals by volume weight from the products it sells in the United States.   Continued...

A person walks outside a Wal-Mart store in Mexico City January 11, 2013. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo