Walgreens, the largest US drugstore chain, is launching its own private label green products line that spans more than two dozen personal care products and household cleaners.
Its Ology line includes baby lotions, adult shampoo and conditioners, dish detergent, fabric softener, glass cleaner, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and "tree-free" tissues, paper towels and copy paper.
Dubbed as the first nationally accessible and affordable brand formulated to be free of harmful chemicals, it's available online and on the shelves at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores.
The strategy anticipates pending US legislation ,"The Safe Chemicals Act," which would be the first overhaul of US chemical policy since 1976. It passed the Senate and awaits action from the House.
It would require that ingredients be determined safe for human health before being used in products.
The "Safe Chemcials Act" responds to increasingly forceful warnings from scientific and medical experts - including the President's Cancer Panel - that current policies have failed to curtail common chemicals linked to diseases such as cancer, learning disabilities, infertility, and more.
"Increasing evidence shows that the chemicals included in everyday products could be contributing to children's diseases and behavioral disorders, including asthma, autism and cancer," says Gigi Lee Chang, CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World.
Consumer groups are pressuring major personal care companies to move proactively to remove toxics ahead of the law's passage – especially since safer formulations are often readily available in other countries.
Walgreens' move dovetails with its introduction of organic foods and wellness programs in stores, morphing into "wellness" centers that help people stay healthy.
Johnson & Johnson also committed to remove potentially harmful and carcinogenic chemicals from its lotions and adult toiletries by 2016.