More consumers than ever are concerned about the chemicals found in everyday items inside their homes. To help relieve customers’ fears, Walmart is taking a stance by seeking to eliminate specific chemicals from thousands of products found on its store shelves.
The company recently announced it was “encouraging suppliers to ban eight chemicals mainly found in beauty and personal care items,” according to NBC News.
Walmart partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to select priority chemicals, “which include triclosan (used in clothing and toys), paragons (used in cosmetics), toluene (found in nail care products), and formaldehyde (used in personal care products such as hair smoothers),” according to the NBC News article.
This push for change has been in the works since 2013, the NBC News article adds, as it was a part of Walmart’s transparency initiative, which is in response to the consumer shift toward more “natural” products, as well as providing more information on a product’s ingredients.
Last April, Walmart announced the company had reached a 95-percent reduction by weight in the use of high priority chemicals of concern, according to the EDF blog.
“Walmart has made major strides regarding the commitments set forth in its policy,” the EDF blog post says. “Equally notable, it has set in place effective systems to measure and track progress over time—an ability that can’t be underestimated.”
Consumer advocacy groups have been supportive of the steps Walmart is taking, according to the NBC News article.
“Big retailers like Walmart have the power to transform the marketplace and bring safer products into the hands of consumers across the world,” Mike Schade of Mind the Store, a national organization that pushes for safer chemical policies within retail, says in the NBC News article. “Even with recent reforms, government actions aren’t going to keep pace with the urgency of the health threats posed by toxic chemicals, so more action like this is urgently needed from leading retailers.”