This is a story about trust. About trust in a company that tells you its product is safe for your children, and about trusting that company to listen to you when you’re concerned. Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) plans to make sure this story has a happy ending, but we need your help.
With a name like “Tide Free & Gentle®,” you probably trust this detergent to be safe – especially when the company markets it as a “healthier choice” for laundry. Unfortunately, this popular product is hiding a nasty secret.
Test results in our recent report, Dirty Secrets: What’s Hiding in Your Cleaning Products? revealed high levels of 1,4-dioxane, a chemical known to cause cancer, hiding out in Tide Free & Gentle®.
That’s the last thing you’d expect in a product that’s marketed to moms as a safer choice for their children’s laundry, right? And finding this toxic chemical hiding out in Tide Free & Gentle® detergent is especially alarming, because children and infants are actually more vulnerable to chemical exposures because their immune, neurological, and hormone systems are still developing.
We think Procter & Gamble (makers of Tide®) should take responsibility for the presence of a cancer-causing chemical in their product. So in February, WVE partnered up with Healthy Child Healthy World to demand that Procter & Gamble strip 1,4-dioxane from Tide Free & Gentle®.
Not surprisingly, people were outraged to discover this chemical lurking in their family’s detergent. To date, more than 75,000 people have called on Procter & Gamble to remove this toxic chemical from Tide Free & Gentle®.
We think this is an incredibly reasonable ask. Chemicals linked to cancer have no place in products we use everyday. In addition, it’s possible to effectively strip this chemical from products: Just two years ago, Procter & Gamble reformulated their Herbal Essences® shampoo to remove 1,4-dioxane.
So you’d think the company would be all for ridding Tide Free & Gentle® of this toxic chemical. If they can do it for shampoo, surely they can take the same steps with their detergent.
Guess what Procter & Gamble’s response has been to the 75,000 people who signed our petition? Prompt? Nope. Concerned? Uh-uh. Apologies? Definitely not.
The company’s response has been silence.
It is nothing short of appalling that Procter & Gamble is refusing to respond to tens of thousands of their consumers. Tide Free & Gentle® contains three times the amount of 1,4-dioxane that was found in Herbal Essences®, which should prompt immediate action to remove it. Sounds a little hypocritical to us.
But the company’s silence hasn’t discouraged us. On the contrary, it has made us even more determined.
We will not give up until Procter & Gamble removes 1,4-dioxane from Tide Free & Gentle®, and we will certainly not give up as long as they’re marketing this toxic product to unsuspecting mothers. Companies like Procter & Gamble need to be held accountable.