Walgreens Wades Into Chem-Free Cleaners

by , Nov 6, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Ology-product-B2Walgreens is the latest national marketer to jump on the safe-chemicals bus, and says it is rolling out Ology, a line of personal and cleaning products formulated with gentler chemicals. Its announcement follows Johnson & Johnson’s news last summer that it would reformulate all its products to remove dangerous chemicals.

Walgreens, based in Deerfield, Ill., says the launch of the affordable line of household liquid products -- exclusive to its stores -- is partially in response to the passage of the “Safe Chemicals Act” in the U.S. Senate, as well as increased consumer demand for such products.

Andy Igrejas, national campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, an advocacy group, says he is “delighted” to see Walgreens reference the Safe Chemicals Act, and says such companies as Staples and Walmart are also intensifying their safer-chemicals initiatives.

“The legislation was the only major bill to pass the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee this year,” he tells Marketing Daily, “and could be brought up to the full Senate at any time.” (The bill has 27 co-sponsors, and the support of most of the Democratic leadership, he says.)

Health and environmental groups have long lobbied for stricter regulations, and if passed, it would mark the first overhaul of federal chemical law since 1976. The bill requires all marketers to prove the safety of any ingredient it uses before selling the product.

“Consumers have been demanding personal care and cleaning products free of harmful chemicals,” a spokesperson for the Environmental Working Group, tells Marketing Daily in an email. “Johnson & Johnson took bold steps by putting their customers' health first, and we hope more companies will follow. Giving consumers what they clearly want is good for business and the public's health."

Ology includes baby and personal care products, as well as household cleaners, light bulbs and paper products.

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