Ken Cook, the group’s president one of the most prominent Washington lobbysts, explained that the goal of the seal, known as EWG Verified, is to make shopping “easier for overwhelmed consumers who want to quickly find a bottle of shampoo or a tube of toothpaste that is better for their health,”.
The first companies to take part to the program are two small cosmetic makers, Beautycounter and MyChelle Dermaceuticals.
In order to be eligible for the mark, products cannot contain probable reproductive, carcinogenic, or environment-damaging toxins. Among the barred ingredients there are paraben preservatives and nitro- and polycyclic musk fragrance ingredients, all suspected endocrine disruptors, but personal care products that include synthetic chemicals aren’t automatically excluded: in example, the group has argued in favor of certain synthetic sunscreen ingredients permitted in Europe but not allowed in the U.S.
There are other criteria for a product to meet to be eligible for earning the seal, such as scoring high in EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetics database and fully disclosing ingredients on packaging labels. Nneka Leiba, deputy director of research, stresses out that the only eligible products are the ones that “meet our robust criteria, as opposed to minimal government standards,” Leiba also declares she hopes the program will spur development of safer products.