WVE is tracking companies’ efforts to disclose ingredients and make their products safer.
Sunshine Makers has reformulated its iconic Simple Green all-purpose cleaners to remove 2-butoxyethanol, a reproductive toxin linked to fertility problems and low birth weight. WVE members have been calling on the company to remove this harmful chemical since the release of our Household Hazards report in 2007. Over the last five years, thousands of women emailed the company and numerous WVE members reported calling the company with their concerns about the health impacts this toxic chemical may have on their families.
Reformulated products are already hitting the shelves. Look for an “AT” or “GG” at the beginning of the batch code, which is stamped on the back of each product label of the reformulated batches. Check out the new ingredient list for the Simple Green all-purpose cleaner.
Sunshine Makers, the makers of the popular Simple Green cleaning products, announced today that it has begun disclosing allergens in its products on their web site.
Carol Chapin, Vice President of Research & Development for Sunshine Makers, Inc. says, “While we understand the desire for, even the importance of, fragrance in cleaning products for many consumers, we also understand that there is a growing population who have allergies to some fragrance components. To address this growing concern, we have committed to list fragrance allergens within the ingredient disclosure information already found on our online consumer product Detail pages found at www.simplegreen.com. In addition, the Simple Green product line offers some products that are allergen-free.”
The American Cleaning Institute, a trade association that represents cleaning product companies, launched an inventory of ingredients used by their member companies. The list includes only limited information on fragrance ingredients, as most companies are not disclosing the chemicals they use in fragrances.
Simple Green has released a master list of fragrance ingredients for its cleaning products. The new webpage claims that Simple Green fragrances don’t contain “Alkylphenols (APs), Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), Formaldehyde, Nitro musks, Phthalates, or any known carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxins listed by: the U.S. National Toxicology Program, the European Union’s Substances of Very High Concern program, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Carcinogens, or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”
Procter & Gamble has released a master list of fragrance ingredients. Consumers can only find this master list by first going to www.pgproductsafety.com, entering a product for which they’d like an ingredient list, downloading a .pdf of the ingredients, and clicking on a link to download another .pdf with a full list of fragrance ingredients. WVE’s preliminary analysis of this list shows the presence of phthalates, including one phthalate that IFRA claimed that companies no longer use, seven different carcinogens, and three synthetic musks. Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis of this master list.
SC Johnson released a master list of fragrance ingredients on its disclosure website and announced that it would begin listing ingredients (except for fragrance) directly on product labels beginning this year.
Reckitt Benckiser released a fragrance information webpage, although it only links to the IFRA list of over 3,000 fragrance ingredients, rather then providing a palette of ingredients specific to Reckitt Benckiser products.
WVE released our report Dirty Secrets, that found undisclosed toxic chemicals hiding in top brand name cleaners. Representative Israel introduced the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act in Congress in the same day, which would require that all cleaning product bear a label listing all ingredients.
The American Cleaning Institute, a trade association representing cleaning product companies, released an updated version of the voluntary Ingredient Communication Initiative. Amendments to the 2010 version include:
- Additional detail on fragrances will be provided, such as a link to the International Fragrance Association list or company-specific list of fragrance ingredients.
- Preservative ingredients will be listed using one of five accepted naming systems.
- Dyes and colorants will be listed by the trade name or chemical-specific name using one of the five accepted naming systems.
- If a company chooses to provide ingredient information on a website or through a toll-free phone number, the website or number must be listed on the product label.
- The CSPA Dictionary is included as an additional option for naming ingredients.
Several companies had gone above and beyond the voluntary initiative before these amendments were released. The enhanced initiative is a step in the right direction–read WVE’s comments on where the plan still falls short.
Clorox has translated its online ingredient list into Spanish. Check it out on www.cloroxcsr.com.
Clorox has revealed that their U.S. products do not contain the toxic trespassers galaxolide and tonalide, and will update their mater list of fragrance ingredients as soon as possible. Stay tuned for updates.
Reckitt Benckiser, maker of Lysol®, Old English®, Woolite®, and others, is now disclosing ingredients in dyes and preservatives on www.rbnainfo.com.
Clorox has posted a master list of fragrance ingredients in all their products on www.cloroxcsr.com. Although SC Johnson & Son, Inc. has committed to release a master list of fragrance ingredients later this year, Clorox is the first mainstream company to reveal fragrance ingredients. This is a great first step–the next step will be associating fragrance ingredients with certain products.
Clorox has updated www.clorox.com to include ingredient information on product landing pages, increasing access to ingredient disclosure on the company’s consumer site. Clorox still does not disclose ingredients in dyes, fragrances or preservatives.
Procter & Gamble, maker of Tide®, Dawn®, Cascade®, and more, recently began disclosing ingredients in preservatives and dyes on www.pgproductsafety.com. The company still does not disclose fragrance ingredients.
Although the New York lawsuit in which WVE is the lead petitioner, (Women’s Voices for the Earth Inc. v. The Procter & Gamble Company) was dismissed for lack of standing by the judge without a ruling on its merits, WVE scored a big win!
As we prepared to appeal the court decision, the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the agency will start implementing the existing law and begin requiring household cleaning companies to reveal the chemical ingredients in their products and any health risks they pose. This development has national implications! WVE is one of a select group of stakeholders invited by DEC to negotiate the timetable and method for making the disclosure information public. We’ll keep you informed of our progress after our first meeting in October.
Following the release of our report What’s That Smell?, WVE has made progress in breaking the silence around hidden toxic chemicals in fragranced cleaning products.
- Simple Green revealed to WVE a list of products that are free of phthalates and synthetic musks, and is currently reformulating other products to remove those chemicals.
- SC Johnson & Son (maker of Windex® and Fantastik®) has approached WVE to begin a conversation on their use of synthetic musks, and has a master list of fragrance ingredients coming out soon.
- And Reckitt Benckiser (maker of Lysol® and Easy Off®) has revealed to WVE that their products do not contain phthalates or synthetic musks.
SC Johnson & Son, Inc. became the first cleaning product company to provide extensive ingredient disclosure in Spanish. SC Johnson launched their Spanish language website this month, allowing wider access to ingredient information to those who want and need it. Check out the website.
Clorox launched a new user-friendly website this month that lists the ingredients in each of their products, with the exception of dyes, preservatives, and fragrances. Each ingredient has a description and its intended use in the product. However, this site is not yet linked to www.clorox.com, making it difficult for consumers to find.
In an encouraging victory, Clorox also announced that they will be removing two chemicals of concern identified by WVE’s Household Hazards report from fragrances in their products, both of which are linked to reproductive harm (e.g. birth defects and fertility problems): alkylphenol ethoxylates and phthalates.
The cleaning products industry launched their voluntary ingredient communication initiative this month with disappointing results. Only 12 of the Soap and Detergent Association’s 100+ members are participating, and at least 3 of those 12 companies (SC Johnson & Son, Seventh Generation, and Clorox) were disclosing ingredients on their websites long before this month. In addition, Phoenix Brands, listed as a participator, isn’t even disclosing ingredients on their website. See the list of participating companies.
Consumers deserve much more. Federal legislation is necessary to require that ALL makers of cleaning products disclose ingredients directly on the product label.
Method, manufacturer of cleaning products and personal care products, has begun disclosing all ingredients in their products–except fragrance–on their website. Method discloses some ingredient information on the product label, and consumers can go to the company website for specific ingredient information.
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) announced that it will publish a list of the fragrance ingredients used in consumer products by the end of the year. Although ingredients won’t be associated with particular products, this is a good step toward full disclosure. Read IFRA’s press release.
WVE has been working with Senator Al Franken’s office on the language of a bill to require cleaning product companies to disclose all of the ingredients on their products directly on the label. The bill was introduced in the US Senate on September 23. Read more.
WVE is part of the Business-NGO Working Group, whose mission is to promote the creation and adoption of safer chemicals and sustainable materials. WVE is currently working with the Workgroup to create an Implementation Guide for implementing green chemistry, part of which is to know and disclose product chemistry.
Representative Steve Israel (D-Long Island) announced new federal legislation for ingredient disclosure in cleaning products. The Household Product Labeling Act of 2009 will require that companies provide a complete and accurate list of all ingredients on the product container or product packaging.
Under pressure from NGO’s, the Fragrance Materials Association releases air freshener fragrance ingredients, grouped by annual volumes of use. View the list of ingredients here (.pdf).
After months of ongoing dialogue with WVE, SC Johnson announced that they will immediately begin disclosing ALL of the ingredients they use in their products, including dyes, preservatives, and fragrance! Look for ingredients on the label by 2012. In the meantime, go to www.whatsinsidescjohnson.com for ingredient information.
Some companies are beginning to disclose the ingredients they use in their products. Here are the ones we know about now. Click on the company to see their ingredients.
In December of last year, the industry announced their voluntary ingredient communication initiative.