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Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health yesterday said that it will be removing parabens, phthalates and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors — chemicals of concern to many consumers — from nearly 600 store brand beauty and personal care products in the CVS Health, Beauty 360, Essence of Beauty, and Blade lines. The company said it expects to complete this initiative by the end of 2019.
“We are committed to providing our 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 still provide the benefits they need with fewer ingredients of concern. Today’s announcement is a natural step in the evolution of our comprehensive approach to chemical safety.”
While CVS store brand products “have always been subject to stringent standards of safety, quality and environmental responsibility and — at a minimum — meet all federal and state requirements,” according to the company, customer feedback has driven this move to eliminate feared chemicals.
CVS Health said it has engaged with industry experts and key advocacy groups to ensure that product quality can be maintained through this transition. Over the past several years, CVS Health has worked with the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (SCHF) coalition and its Mind the Store campaign, which strive to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products.
“This announcement is an exciting milestone not only for CVS Health, but for retailers and the role they play in driving change toward safer consumer products,” said Mike Schade, who directs the Mind the Store campaign for SCHF.
The evolution of CVS Health’s chemical policy builds off of a foundation laid over the past decade, the retailer said. In 2008, CVS became the first major drugstore chain to adopt a Cosmetic Safety Policy, according to the chain. Since then, CVS Health has made progress toward sustainable chemical management, including adopting the WERCSmart tool in 2013 to ensure that suppliers register ingredient information for all chemical-based products.
In 2016, CVS became the first major pharmacy chain in the country to become a signatory of the Chemical Footprint Project, the retailer added.
“Our consumers expect both transparency and quality when it comes to ingredients in the products they use,” said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS Health. “This is an important step, and we look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders to address additional chemicals of consumer concern and focus on more product categories in the future.”