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Avon the latest to take reformulation pledge with triclosan

By Michelle Yeomans+

07-Apr-2014
Last updated on 07-Apr-2014 at 17:02 GMT

Avon the latest to take reformulation pledge with triclosan

Avon has announced it will stop using triclosan, a suspected endocrine disruptor in its products.

The cosmetic brand joins giants like J&J, P&G and Colgate-Palmolive with promises to phase out the chemical in some of its products.  

According to Avon representative Jennifer Vargas, tricoslan will not be used in new products and a process "is underway for identifying alternatives or changing formulations for the small number of existing products that had included it among their ingredients."

Like many before it, Avon cited 'customer concern' as its reason for reformulating, but has still to reveal what it plans to replace the chemical with. 

Triclosan first appeared in the 1960s and later became popular in personal care products that incorporate anti-bacterial agents such as toothpaste, deodorants and hand washes.

Pressure to now lead the way...

Industry associations like the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has been challenging the major personal care companies to phase-out or reduce the use of certain chemicals in their products over the last two years. 

Since then, the likes of J&J set internal targets to have reduced or eliminated formaldehyde releasers, certain parabens, 1,4-dioxane, triclosan, diethyl phthalate (DEP) and five fragrance chemicals from all of its products by the end of 2015.

Following Avon's announcement, Janet Nudelman, co-founder of the CSC urged the brand to now lead the way with its efforts; "[we] congratulate Avon..., but triclosan is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unsafe chemicals in cosmetics. We want Avon to adopt a comprehensive policy that declares these chemicals to be off limits and to support stricter regulation."

FDA stance on phasing out

In 2013 the Food and Drug Administration agreed to issue a new rule governing the use of the antimicrobial agent by 2016, a decision that's been in the making since 1978.

After 35 years of looking into Triclosan, the Authority signed a new court agreement with the Natural Resources Defence Council to govern its' use in the industry.

In recent years lobby groups have been criticizing the FDA's 'lengthy approval process' on the matter.

However; refusing to be rushed in its efforts, the Administration continued to state that it was still "too early to make a final judgement" right up until 2010.

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