Target has laid out a new policy that pressures manufacturers of beauty supplies and household cleaners to remove harmful chemicals from their products, one of the most expansive initiatives from a major retailer to give consumers safer options for what they use on their faces and kitchen counters.
The retailer based in Minneapolis with Akron-Canton outlets has revealed details of its new Sustainable Product Standard, a program to assess the safety of more than 7,500 household cleaners and beauty, cleaning and baby care products sold in Target’s 1,700-plus stores.
Target’s crackdown on hazardous chemicals and its tough demands on the largely unregulated personal-care products industry is yet another landmark in the movement for safer consumable goods.
“Consumer demand for transparency and safer products has grown too loud for companies to ignore,” said Stacy Malkan, a co-founder of the San Francisco-based Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which last month pressured Target to sell safer beauty products.
Target also will collaborate with the campaign, a coalition of environmental and health organization, to create new safety standards for rating cosmetics beginning in 2014.
The personal-care products industry maintains all its goods meet safety guidelines before they are sold to consumers.
Target is concerned about 1,600 chemicals that pose human health risks and 1,500 substances that threaten water quality, based on toxic regulatory standards created by California and by the European Union.
Most household cleaners sold in the U.S. do not list ingredients.