Walmart announced that it will ask suppliers to remove eight chemicals of concern, including formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, from household goods. This is an important step in the right direction, and yet Walmart and other large corporations still can do more.

The Walmart policy requires 700 manufacturers to list the eight ingredients by 2018 and urges them to find safer alternatives.

However, these eight chemicals are a select few of the many harmful ones that may be in our household goods, including products that we directly put on our bodies, like shampoos, lotions, soap, etc.

Eight is not enough. For example, methylparaben was not included in Walmart’s list. It is a preservative used in some moisturizers and has been linked to skin cancer[1] and hormone disruption.[2]

The average American is exposed to more than 100 different chemicals from personal care products each morning. We shouldn’t have to risk our health when going through our morning routines.

Walmart has taken a step in protecting public health. Let’s see if they can take more.


[1] Darbre PD., et a., Paraben esters: review of recent studies of endocrine toxicity, absorption, esterase and human exposure, and discussion of potential human health risks. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 2008.  Available at

[2] Byford JR, Shaw LE, Drew MG, Pope GS, Sauer MJ, Darbre PD. 2002. Oestrogenic activity of parabens in MCF7 human breast cancer cells. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 80(1):49-60.