Green consumers have scored a major victory! CVS Health, the store where you probably buy many cosmetics and personal care products, has promised to make those products safer by removing chemicals in their products that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and hormone disruption.
Those chemicals include parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde.
Nearly 600 beauty and personal care products will become safer to use, including the CVS Health store brand, Beauty 360, Essence of Beauty, and Blade product lines. The Promise Organic line of store brand products already does not contain any of these toxic chemicals.
Why Did CVS Health Commit to Safer, Healthier Products?
The company wanted to “provide customers with the safe, efficacious products that they are looking for,” said Cia Tucci, Vice President of Store Brands and Quality Assurance at CVS Health.
“We listened when customers voiced their desire for products that provide the benefits they need with fewer ingredients of concern.”
“Customer feedback has driven this move to eliminate parabens, phthalates and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors.”
Does It Matter? Yes!!
CVS Caremark Corporation is one of the largest drugstore chains in the U.S. It has over 7,300 stores and 2011 U.S. retail sales of almost $60 million, the 7th highest nationally.
Safer Chemicals has applauded CVS for its decision to clean up its products but says there is still more work to be done.
CVS Health can use its leverage to work with their suppliers to reduce, eliminate or safely substitute over a hundred questionable chemicals.
CVS Health won’t have its safer products fully available until the end of 2019. Until then, avoid products that contain the following:
Parabens – Parabens are commonly found in cosmetics, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, hair styling gel and lotion and deodorant. Studies show parabens mimic estrogen and inhibit testosterone, potentially disrupting hormonal balance in both women and men.
Phthalates – These compounds are often found in fragrances and aerosols like air fresheners, as well as in plastics, solvents and even children’s toys. Of the variety of health impacts linked to exposure to phthalates, damage to male reproductive organs is among the gravest concerns.
Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is a “volatile organic chemical,” which means that it will “off-gas” or emit its components into the air you breathe over time. It’s found in antiseptics, cosmetics, nail polish, dishwashing liquids, fabric softeners, shoe polish, carpet cleaners, glue, adhesive, paint, and more. It’s also used as a preservative in foods, like some cheeses, dried food, and fish.
Triclosan – Triclosan is actually a pesticide that may be included in toothpaste; it’s also the ingredient formulated into many antibacterial products, like hand wash, body wash and many cleaning compounds.
Increasing members of the medical community oppose using triclosan because they worry that it is actually encouraging the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.
By the way, washing your hands with hot soapy water seems to be just as effective as anti-bacterial soaps for getting rid of germs.