The Preservatives Innovation Project

Smart Innovation: The Opportunity for Safer Preservatives

87%

of consumers globally seek out beauty and personal care products made without harsh or toxic chemicals.

24-33%

Studies estimate that 24–33 percent of the global burden of disease is attributable to environmental factors, and the environment plays a role in close to 85 percent of all disease.

9

The average adult uses 9 personal care products a day, with 126 unique chemical ingredients.

16

Among the common 16 preservatives analyzed, hazard hotspots included skin sensitization and irritation, eye irritation, and toxicity to aquatic organisms.

The Facts.

Tens of thousands of chemicals in the marketplace have not been adequately evaluated for potential harm to people and the environment. Among the 16 common preservatives examined in EDF's new report – all contained data gaps for critical health endpoints.

Demand for safer chemicals is growing – significantly. Major retailers including Walmart, Target, and CVS have adopted safer chemicals policies.

However, it’s not always easy for product manufacturers to replace ingredients with safer alternatives. One challenge is knowing where the innovation opportunities exist. EDF set out to develop baseline safety information, with input from companies and research organizations, for one of the most targeted ingredients in personal care products – preservatives.

Major retailers have adopted safer chemicals policies

…including Walmart, Target and CVS. However, it’s not always easy for product manufacturers to replace ingredients with safer alternatives. EDF set out to develop baseline safety information for one of the most targeted ingredients in personal care products – preservatives.

87%

of consumers globally seek out beauty and personal care products made without harsh or toxic chemicals.

The Problem.

The lack of availability and access to comprehensive and transparent toxicological information on chemicals across the supply chain continues to be a major obstacle to smart innovation. Such baseline information is invaluable for setting safer chemical design criteria that chemical and product developers can integrate into their R&D efforts.

Access to comprehensive health and safety information on chemicals.

The lack of comprehensive, transparent baseline safety information on chemicals is a bottleneck to safer chemical and product innovation. Innovators need access to baseline information to guide new chemical and product development.  Among the common 16 preservatives analyzed, hazard hotspots included skin sensitization and irritation, eye irritation, and toxicity to aquatic organisms.

16

Among the common 16 preservatives analyzed, hazard hotspots included skin sensitization and irritation, eye irritation, and toxicity to aquatic organisms. Data gaps for critical health endpoints were identified across all the preservatives evaluated.

The Solution.

A Chemicals Assessment Clearinghouse to drive safer chemical and product innovation.

A revolutionary approach.

Tackling health and safety data bottlenecks requires a revolutionary approach to information sharing.

EDF thanks Active Micro Technologies, Beautycounter, Clariant, Green Chemistry and Commerce Council, Seventh Generation, and other participating organizations for their input during this project.  EDF also thanks ToxServices for essential research provided.