Creating products and services that help people live longer, healthier, happier lives is what we do. And since environmental health and human health go hand in hand, using more sustainable ingredients that meet people's growing expectations is part of our process.
While we aspire to improve the sustainability of the ingredients we use, our top priority will always be product safety. Take ingredient diversity, for example. Preserving ingredient diversity is intrinsically linked to sustainable and safe products. While using fewer preservatives is the trend, loss of preservative diversity could lead to overuse of ingredients and less safe products. Regulatory bans and restrictions, as well as stakeholder commitments to eliminate the use of certain preservatives, are reducing the number of safe and effective preservatives available for use in personal care products.
Preservatives are an essential part of baby and beauty personal care products. Without them, everyday products you’ve come to rely on could expire within weeks or even days. In fact, the main reason we include preservatives in some of our products is to ensure their safety and shelf-life. In addition, they protect consumers from harmful bacteria, mold, and fungus. While we continue to listen to the concerns of our customers and consumers, and to review the ingredients we use, we must balance the concerns raised with the benefits. We are working with stewardship professionals from industry, government, academia and consumer groups to research and ensure the availability of a safe and sustainable preservative palette.
Another example is talc. We continue to use cosmetic talc in our products like JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder because decades of science have reaffirmed its safety. Science, research, clinical evidence and 30 years of studies by international medical experts continue to support the safety of cosmetic talc. Health authorities in the United States and around the world have reviewed the data. Talc is accepted for use in many countries, including the United States, European Union, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Israel, South Africa, Turkey, and Indonesia. We take any questions about our products' safety seriously and, as a result, have dug deep into the evidence and science on talc. To learn more about how, when and why we use talc in our products, visit FactsAboutTalc.com.
To date, we have removed a variety of ingredients from our baby and beauty cosmetic and personal care products to address consumer preferences, including butylparaben, phthalates, triclosan, perfluorooctanoic acid, styrene, animal-derived fragrances, nitromusks and polycyclic musks, tagetes, rose crystal, diacetyl, cocamide diethanolamine, and toluene.
At Johnson & Johnson we want our customers and consumers to feel confident that every product we bring to market is safe, effective and of high quality. Therefore, we have rigorous processes in place to help ensure the safety and quality of every single product we make. Our Ingredient Working Group and Emerging Issues Working Group meet regularly to monitor developments related to ingredients, including questions raised by our customers and consumers.
We are also continually evaluating the materials and ingredients used in our products to respond to consumer preferences or other relevant information. For more general information, see our Policies and Statements. For information related specifically to our personal care products, see our Safety and Care Commitment website.
The Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies was one of the first to commit to removing polyethylene microbeads from its personal care products globally, and our efforts continued in 2016. We are on track to meet our commitment to remove microbeads from our products globally by the end of 2017.
We are working with the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council to seek new, safe, and effective preservatives. In 2016, we became a sponsor for the Preservatives Project, a competition to be held in summer 2017 to identify ideas for new preservatives for personal care and household products.
Further demonstrating our desire to improve the management of chemicals, Johnson & Johnson was one of several companies reporting their chemical footprints for the first time through the Chemical Footprint Project, a new initiative for measuring corporate progress to safer chemicals. It provides a metric for benchmarking companies as they select ingredient alternatives and reduce their use of chemicals of concern. The Chemical Footprint Project is the first initiative to measure overall corporate chemicals management performance.