Target: Proctor and Gamble Chairman, President, and CEO A. G. Lafely
Goal: Commend P&G for proactively removing potentially harmful chemicals from its product line
Owning dozens of brands that range from Tide and Crest to CoverGirl and Always, Proctor and Gamble (P&G) is the largest manufacturer of consumer goods in the world. Because of this, the decisions they make in manufacturing their products have ramifications that impact billions of consumers throughout the country and the world. This is why P&G should be commended for their recent steps to remove two EPA ‘chemicals of concern’ from their entire range of products by 2014.
The first chemical is diethyl phthalate, a member of a class of chemicals that has raised concerns from consumers and advocacy groups. When added to products and packaging, these chemicals are very easily released into the environment and later found in the air we breathe and the food we eat. Phthalates can even be absorbed indirectly when a person’s skin comes into contact with a product that contains them. Studies have linked phthalate exposure to a variety of negative health effects, including hormonal imbalances, birth defects, and breast cancer. Diethyl phthalate is not the most concerning chemical of this type, but P&G has removed it from 70% of its products and is on track to completely remove it by 2014.
The second chemical is triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal agent that has not been proven to have positive health benefits when used in consumer products other than toothpaste. Despite this, it is added to a wide range of products unrelated to oral health, and is potentially harming the environment and disrupting ocean ecosystems as a result. Because it is typically not filtered out during wastewater treatment, triclosan can accumulate in bodies of water at concentrations large enough to disrupt the hormones, growth, and development of marine animals and aquatic bacteria. Thankfully, this chemical is also being removed from all of P&G’s products.
As a company with more than 4.8 billion customers worldwide, P&G has a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe for consumers and the environment. Although these chemicals are not legally banned, they have raised enough concerns that P&G has elected to remove them from their entire product line. Please sign the petition below to thank P&G CEO A. G. Lafley for his company’s proactive approach to consumer safety.
Dear Mr. Lafley,
Many manufacturers of consumer products are secretive about the chemicals and additives used in their products, and reluctant to remove chemicals of concern even amidst public outcry. With dozens of iconic American brands and billions of customers worldwide, P&G has a responsibility to ensure that your products are developed with the safety of consumers in mind. With your recent steps to eliminate two chemicals of concern, triclosan and diethyl phthalate, from your product line, your company makes it clear that you don’t take this responsibility lightly.
By removing these chemicals of concern, you set an example for companies to be proactive rather than reactive in their approach to product safety. While you should be commended for your actions so far, the public hopes that P&G will continue to identify and eliminate chemicals with a potential detrimental impact on consumers or the environment. This will ensure that P&G remains a global leader in consumer products, and will give your many customers greater peace of mind when shopping for their favorite brands.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: mag3737 via Flickr