Letter from Health Organizations
April 18, 2012
President, Chairman, CEO
Procter & Gamble
5299 Spring Grove Ave
Cincinatti, OH 45217-1087
Dear Mr. McDonald,
On behalf of the tens of thousands of consumers that our organizations represent, we are writing to request that Procter & Gamble immediately remove 1,4-dioxane from Tide Free & Gentle® and its other cleaning products that contain the chemical.
In November 2011, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) published the report, Dirty Secrets: What’s Hiding in Your Cleaning Products? The report contained product testing results from an independent lab that found 1,4-dioxane in three out of five P&G products tested: Tide Free & Gentle® (89 ppm), Tide Original® (63 ppm), and Bounce Free & Sensitive® (.32 ppm).
1,4-dioxane is classified by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen and is on the State of California’s Proposition 65 list of known carcinogens. Occupational exposure to 1,4-dioxane has been linked to kidney and liver damage in humans. Studies have also demonstrated reproductive and developmental effects in rodents.
It is especially concerning that this chemical was detected in Tide Free & Gentle®, which P&G markets to mothers as a “healthier choice” for their children’s laundry. Infants and children are more vulnerable to chemical exposures like these because their immune, neurological, and hormone systems are still developing. This marketing is also egregiously misleading due to the presence of a cancer-causing chemical.
As a trusted company that has made strong commitments to health and sustainability, we urge P&G to publicly commit to removing 1,4-dioxane from its products immediately.
It is our understanding that the company does not intentionally add 1,4-dioxane but that it is a byproduct of the formulations. Yet, P&G has effectively demonstrated that it is possible to remove the chemical as achieved in 2010 with Herbal Essences shampoo®. In contrast to Herbal Essences®, the amount of 1,4-dioxane in Tide Free & Gentle® tested at three times the amount found in the shampoo. This level of 1,4-dioxane in a product certainly warrants immediate action from P&G.
To date, WVE and Healthy Child Healthy World have mobilized more than 76,000 people who have emailed P&G or signed a petition asking the company to remove 1,4-dioxane from Tide Free & Gentle® and other products that contain it. We believe that the company has an inherent responsibility to respond to its consumers’ concerns.
Therefore, we request that P&G publicly commit to removing 1,4-dioxane from products that contain this cancer-causing chemical immediately. We kindly request a response to this letter by May 1, 2012 in order to avoid further escalation of this campaign.
We appreciate your prompt response and look forward to discussing the details of your commitment. Should you have any questions or wish to discuss this letter further, please contact Cassidy Randall, Campaign and Outreach Manager at Women’s Voices for the Earth, to set up a meeting. She can be reached directly at (406) 543-3747 or email@example.com.
Women’s Voices for the Earth
Healthy Child Healthy World
Kelli Barber, RN, MN
Co-Chair, Nurses Work Group
Health Care Without Harm
Chair, Board of Directors
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
Jeanne Rizzo, RN,
President and CEO
Breast Cancer Fund
Breast Cancer Action
Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ)
Pamela K. Miller
Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Washington Toxics Coalition
Carolyn Raffensperger, M.A., J.D.
Science and Environmental Health Network
Senior Director of Policy & Strategic Planning
Ohio Environmental Council
National Campaigns Director
Clean Water Action
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)
Environmental Health Campaign Director
Kathleen A. Curtis, LPN
Clean and Healthy New York
Kids for Saving Earth
Empire State Consumer Project
Policy & Communications Coordinator
Kentucky Environmental Foundation
Clay G. Colson
Board Director and Water Issues Chair
Citizens for Sanity.Com, Inc.
Mark A. Mitchell M.D., MPH
Senior Policy Advisor
Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice
Director Product Safety & Regulatory Affairs
Associate Director, Global Sustainability