Testing and Transparency Kay Gebhardt, Senior Project Analyst

2012 Corporate Responsibility Report

Testing and Transparency Kay Gebhardt, Senior Project Analyst “We confirm everything about our products through extensive testing. When a product meets our rigorous standards, we know we can feel good about it. “In addition to the human-effects testing (such as for irritation) that occurs during product development, we add another layer of assurance by testing our finished products. We engage independent, third-party laboratories to screen our products annually for numerous chemicals, including some such as parabens and phthalates that are not in our formulas but are of concern to consumers. These labs use standard methodologies to test for the presence of: 1,4-dioxane, alcohol, formaldehyde, hypochlorite, phosphates, latex, nitrosamines, parabens, phthalates, triclosan, monoethanolamine, nonylphenol diethoxylate, and organic halides (chlorine in fibers). “It is always possible to have cross-contamination occur and when we detect anything unexpected, we immediately focus on figuring out why. We also try to bring our consumers into the conversation so that they understand what has occurred and how we are handling it. “For example, we have always wanted to ensure that our diapers do not contain natural rubber latex that could possibly cause an allergic reaction in our smallest and most sensitive consumers. In 2012, we were surprised to find the presence of synthetic latex during one of our routine product screenings. We did some research and found the source of the synthetic latex in the diaper glue. Synthetic latex does not contain the proteins that cause an allergic reaction and is actually used as a substitute for natural rubber latex. Regardless, this got us thinking about how relevant the claim really was. Natural rubber latex is rarely used as an ingredient in modern disposable diapers and we’ve tested our diapers for irritancy, so we know they meet our strict standards. It feels like greenwashing to use a claim that is no longer relevant to the product, so we’ve decided to remove the claim from our diapers and training pants in the near future. Rest assured, the diapers are still free of natural rubber latex, so they can be safely used by anyone with a latex allergy, but our claim didn’t feel any more authentic than claiming that our hand dish liquid is free of rocket fuel.” seventhgeneration.com/2012report   17 Nurturing Nature


2012 Corporate Responsibility Report
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