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Wal-Mart Says 'No" to 10 Chemicals; EDF Says 'This is the Starting Point'

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Ingredient blacklists are a key hallmark of this decade's beauty brand and retailer landscape. Marked as one of the largest efforts to phase out certain chemicals from common household goods, Walmart Stores Inc. has agreed to collaborate with the Environmental Defense Fund to target 10 “chemicals of concern” in consumer products like personal care and air fresheners. 

And this is just for starters. 

One out of five home and personal care consumable products will be impacted 

One out of five home and personal care consumable products will be impacted since the list of chemicals covers 90,000 items from 70 companies. 

Walmart focused its suppliers’ attention on identified high priority chemicals (HPCs) for removal which include propylparaben, butylparaben, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, triclosan, and toluene. Suppliers like Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble are reportedly already responding by reformulating products. 

This is the starting point for Walmart and for the wider retail supply chain: We’re planning to expand chemical policies for more products and suppliers - Environmental Defense Fund

“This is the starting point for Walmart and for the wider retail supply chain: We’re planning to expand chemical policies for more products and suppliers,” the EDF said in a statement.

Under the policy, manufacturers must list the targeted ingredients on packaging by 2018 and reformulate with other alternative ingredients.

Walmart said it has seen a dramatic reduction in the total weight of Priority Chemicals (PC) and HPCs since asking manufacturers to limit these chemicals. The total weight of HPCs dropped by 95% and PCS by 45%, based on Walmart's standard of measurements. 

Walmart committed to increase the number of private brand product offerings bearing its "Safer Choice" certification. The Safer Choice Program is a voluntary program implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that seeks to recognize and bring consumer awareness to products and their ingredients. 

Further reading: Beauty Industry Under Attack with Recent Poll

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