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CVS takes step to address chemicals of consumer concern

CVS Pharmacy, America’s leading retail pharmacy, took a major step forward in advancing its efforts to address chemicals of consumer concern by announcing the removal of parabens, phthalates and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors across nearly 600 beauty and personal care products from its store brand CVS Health, Beauty 360, Essence of Beauty, and Blade product lines. The Promise Organic line of store brand products also does not contain any of these ingredients. CVS Pharmacy will stop shipping store brand products that don’t meet these standards to distribution centers by the end of 2019. 

As a company driven by its purpose of helping people on their path to better health, this latest action is a significant milestone in its journey toward more sustainable products that satisfy consumer expectations.  

“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 all 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, customer feedback has driven this move to eliminate parabens, phthalates and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors.  In addition to listening to customers, CVS Health has also 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 engaged with the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (SCHF) coalition and its Mind the Store campaign, an organization working to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products, strengthen the understanding of chemicals of consumer concern and inform opportunities for retailers to advance chemical safety 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, Mind the Store campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. “We applaud CVS Health for the action it is taking today and we look forward to continued collaboration ahead.  We hope other retailers will follow suit.”

The evolution of CVS Health’s chemical policy builds off a foundation laid over the last decade to advance its chemical management efforts. In 2007, the company became the first major drugstore to establish a Cosmetic Safety Policy in 2008. Since then, CVS Health has made substantial progress toward sustainable chemical management, including the launch of the WERCSmart tool in 2013 to ensure suppliers register ingredient information for all chemical-based products. In 2016, CVS Health became the first major pharmacy chain in the country to become a signatory of the Chemical Footprint Project.

“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 CSR 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. 

For more information on CVS Health’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, visit:www.cvshealth.com/social-responsibility

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