Wal-Mart identifies eight chemicals to be removed from products

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(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Wednesday it was pushing suppliers to remove eight hazardous chemicals from products including household cleaning, personal care and beauty items.

The chemicals include formaldehyde, a carcinogen found in wood products and building materials; butylparaben used as a preservative in cosmetics; and triclosan, which is used in toothpaste for treating plaque.

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Wal-Mart committed in 2013 to increase transparency about ingredients in products it sells, advance safer formulations and attain the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Safer Choice certification for Walmart private brand products.

The policy, which went into effect in January 2014, focuses on products sold at both Walmart and Sam's Club stores in the United States, according to a blog post from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which said it worked with Wal-Mart to develop and implement its policy.

Wal-Mart said in April that its suppliers had removed 95 percent of the eight high-priority chemicals by volume weight from the products it sells in the United States.

"These eight chemicals and chemical classes were among the most ubiquitous found in home and personal care products sold at Walmart," the EDF said in a statement.

Wal-Mart's policy also requires that any priority chemical used in a product must be disclosed on the product's packaging starting in 2018, the EDF blog said.

The retailer also said on Wednesday it would work with suppliers to encourage them to disclose ingredients in all markets where they operate, not just the United States.

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