This new transparency initiative goes beyond regulations in the European Union and also in the US where there are no rules requiring allergen transparency, noted the company.
"For us, transparency is a matter of principle. We're interested in helping people make the best choices for their families," said Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. "Just like when we started listing preservatives, dyes and fragrances, we didn't stop with the industry standard. We want to tell the whole story. This is just the next step we are taking in our journey to be more and more transparent." Other companies use similar ingredients. SC Johnson considers it important to disclose these ingredients particularly for people with a pre-existing skin allergy.
"This is a groundbreaking disclosure of allergens in cleaning products from SC Johnson. By taking these steps, SC Johnson will help millions of consumers be smarter about chemicals in cleaning products that have the potential to cause allergic skin responses. And SC Johnson is once again raising the bar for other companies. This level of transparency is sweeping across other industries and is rapidly becoming the new normal for companies, like SC Johnson, who place a premium on giving consumers more, rather than less, ingredient information," said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group.
"We understand that other companies might choose not to do the work to communicate low levels of potential skin allergens in their products. For SC Johnson, with our decades-long commitment to being more and more transparent, we are continuing on a path to provide more and more information to the people who buy our products so they can make choices that are best for them and their families," said Johnson.
To determine its comprehensive list of potential skin allergens, SC Johnson scientists analyzed more than 3,000 data sets from public and industry sources for potential skin allergens identified on country regulatory lists, fragrance industry lists, the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety reviews, dermatology clinic data and individual supplier safety data sheets. The company then shared its findings for validation with experts in the fields of dermatology, immuno-toxicology, fragrance toxicology and allergens.
The expert panel that validated the study methods includes:
- David Basketter, D.Sc., independent consultant and recognized international expert on allergy; former Director of Safety Research, Unilever
- David Bickers, M.D., Chairman, Department of Dermatology, Columbia University
- Peter Cadby, Ph.D., former Head of Product Safety at Firmenich
- Axel Schnuch, M.D., University of Göttingen; retired Head of IVDK (Information Network of Departments of Dermatology)
- Peter Thorne, Ph.D., Head of Department of Occupational & Environmental Health, University of Iowa; Director of Environmental Health Sciences Research Center
The 368 ingredients that are potential skin allergens can be found here.
By 2018, SC Johnson will add potential skin allergens to the list of ingredients when contained in a product on its WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com website. The company's worldwide ingredient disclosure program is currently active in more than 30 countries in North America and Europe, with rollout efforts underway for Asia and Latin America.
SC Johnson reviewed both natural and synthetic skin allergens in its products.