New EDF Report Uses GreenScreen to Assess Preservatives
A new report from Environmental Defense Fund reveals key barriers to innovation in an important, but challenging class of chemistry – preservatives. Data gaps were identified among all 16 preservatives evaluated – including around endocrine activity and neurotoxicity. Common hazards among the preservatives included skin allergies and aquatic toxicity. 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. GreenScreen assessments were used in the analysis and in making the broader point that greater access to comprehensive health and safety information is critical for innovation.
Market demand for safer chemicals is growing - 87% of consumers globally seek out beauty and personal care products made without harsh or toxic chemicals. Major retailers including Walmart, Target, and CVS have released chemicals policies that aim to drive chemicals of concern off their shelves and ensure consumer access to safer chemicals and products. Notably, all three retailers have targeted certain preservatives for removal from products including baby and beauty and personal care products. Smart innovation is necessary to ensure that products are adequately preserved against problematic microbial contamination while also satisfying demands for safer chemicals.