September 12, 2013 – Today, the world’s largest retailer, Walmart, announced that it will begin a process to phase out at least 10 harmful chemicals from the cleaning products, cosmetics, and personal care products they carry, and require increased ingredient disclosure for these product categories.
“We are pleased that Walmart is making this commitment towards safer products and transparency,” said Erin Switalski, executive director of Women’s Voices for the Earth. “In particular, Walmart’s announcement is a good step forward in increasing transparency in the cleaning product industry, where no federal law currently exists to require this disclosure.”
Starting in January 2014, Walmart will begin to identify private brand cleaning products for labeling in accordance with the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Safer Labeling program. This means that product ingredients must be disclosed either on a product label, through a website, or through a toll-free number. The labeling program also requires the disclosure of the Chemical Service Abstract number or CAS #, which is a unique chemical identifier.
“Unfortunately, the DfE program does not require full disclosure of fragrance ingredients, so customers will still be left in the dark about some of the chemicals they are being exposed to in a product,” said Ms. Switalski. “Overall, it’s a great first step and we applaud Walmart’s initiative towards safer products and ingredient transparency.”