While it is not particularly helpful to consumers in the U.S., Big Chemical’s efforts at transparency in Europe is making a start, at least. The SC Johnson company has recently released data showing hundreds of potential allergic skin reactions consumers could have from using their products.
Unfortunately, this disclosure neglects to address factors that U.S. consumers must be concerned about such as serious health risks (like increased incidence of breathing problems and asthmatic reactions) that have been associated with synthetic fragrance chemicals and the accompanying fragrance-enhancing phthalates* (think: the link with breast cancer). And that is just a couple of examples of adverse health reactions that have been linked in scientific studies to common chemicals of concern in U.S. household products.
U.S. consumers can go here , however, and IF they already know the name of a specific chemical they can click on the first letter of that chemical name to see if it is present in SC Johnson’s product line. Of course, unless they are chemists, consumers will still need to go elsewhere to determine the health-related findings from the scientific research literature.
*Phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals. Scientific studies have linked phthalates to breast cancer, diabetes, obesity, asthma, brain development problems, and numerous endocrine abnormalities like triggering early menopause, premature breast development in girls, lowered hormones in men, damaged sperm, and premature births. Source
SC Johnson reveals 368 potential skin allergens in its products
Consumers in Europe gain added information and transparency about household cleaning product chemicals:
“Consumer products conglomerate SC Johnson has disclosed the 368 potential skin allergens that may be used in its products, including household brands such as Glade, Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles and Shout.
The international company has added the list of fragrance and non-fragrance ingredients to its transparency website, WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com. It says that by 2018, it will also indicate which skin allergens are contained within each product.
To determine the list of ingredients to disclose, SC Johnson scientists analysed more than 3,000 data sets from public and industry sources for potential skin allergens identified on country regulatory lists, fragrance industry lists and individual supplier safety data sheets. This included both natural and synthetic skin allergens.”
In Europe the curtain on transparency is pulled back much further…
“Previously, it published its fragrance palette with a list of its 1,300 approved fragrance ingredients as well as a list of its ingredient restrictions, and then began rolling out product-specific fragrance disclosure. Last year, it launched a product collection with 100% fragrance ingredient transparency and started its European ingredient transparency programme.
Such initiatives are on the rise among consumer goods companies. Earlier this year, Unilever announced plans to provide consumers with information about specific fragrance ingredients used in its personal care products. P&G also announced the launch of a website that allows consumers to see which preservatives are in its products.”
But in the U.S. we apparently need a tie-back for that curtain blocking transparency:
“There has also been increasing pressure for ingredient transparency in cleaning products in the US. Bills have been introduced in Congress and California that would require products to bear a label listing ingredients, and New York has floated a proposal for manufacturers to publicly disclose ingredients and identify chemicals of concern used in formulations.”