The report finds that to meet increasing consumer and retailer demand for safer chemicals, health and safety information must be more widely shared along the supply chain, according to the group. The group pointed to major retailers, including Walmart, Target, and CVS, which have released chemicals policies that aim to drive chemicals of concern off their shelves and ensure consumer access to safer chemicals and products; all three retailers have targeted certain preservatives for removal from products including baby and beauty and personal care products.
In its press statement, Environmental Defense Fund penned, “Smart innovation is necessary to ensure that products are adequately preserved against problematic microbial contamination while also satisfying demands for safer chemicals.”
The release also included the following statement from Zach Freeze, senior director of sustainability at Walmart: “Walmart works with suppliers and organizations like EDF to advance sustainable chemistry –encouraging reducing, restricting and eliminating priority chemicals in products. EDF’s baseline information on preservatives can help companies make more informed choices and deliver more sustainable innovations.”
EDF says it launched the Preservatives Innovation Project (PIP) “to better understand the barriers and enablers to safer chemicals innovation in the marketplace, with particular interest in exploring how a consistent toxicological evaluation of a chemical class can guide innovation and data development via the identification of hazard hotspots and data gaps.”
Further, EDF said, “the report finds that without transparent, structured sets of baseline health and safety information, safer chemical innovation will remain difficult. Shared hazard assessment information through a new ‘Chemicals Assessment Clearinghouse’ would accelerate innovation.”
“A Chemicals Assessment Clearinghouse is a strategic intervention that would power smart, safer chemical innovation by academics, entrepreneurs and others and ultimately lead to a more healthful, product positive marketplace,” said EDF senior scientist Dr. Jennifer McPartland.
The full report can be accessed here: www.edf.org/preservatives.