Loblaws promises that by the end of 2018 it will stop manufacturing household and cosmetic products that contain Triclosan, phthalates or microbeads.
Triclosan is found in antibacterial soaps and body washes, toothpaste and some cosmetic products and is thought to contribute to antibiotic resistance.
Phthalates are chemicals used to add fragrance to products that include body lotions and nail polishes, and to make plastics more flexible. There are concerns they may interfere with the body’s endocrine system.
Microbeads are commonly used in facial and body scrubs, but are so tiny they aren’t captured by water-treatment systems so end up in lakes and rivers _ and in the gullets of fish.
The company believes it could take that long to phase out the ingredients completely, although the work has already begun and the number of products with them will diminish month by month, Loblaw spokesman Kevin Groh said in an email.
“Our long-term deadline respects the task this will represent for our vendors. But, if our ambition is any indicator, 2018 is a conservative target. In other words, we hope that the list of PC and Life products with these ingredients will be very short, very soon,” Groh said.
Environmental Defence, a Toronto-based environmental group, said Loblaw was showing “clear leadership” among Canadian retailers with the push to eliminate the chemicals and microbeads, but said Canada still needs clear labelling laws on products.
“Canadians have the right to know what’s in the products they buy, so they can choose safer options for their families,” the organization said in a statement.
“We also need to ask why the federal government is not moving to ban toxic chemicals to protect all Canadians.”