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    Chemical Policy | Rite Aid Pharmacy

    Our Policy:

    Safe management of toxic chemicals directly aligns with Rite Aid’s strategy of becoming a whole health destination where our customers can thrive.  As part of our mission, we are dedicated to meeting the expectations of our customers with regard to the presence of some of the ingredients found in many products we sell today.  In conjunction with our chemical policy, our recent merchandising overhaul contains a broader assortment of cleaner, more sustainable products. 


    Rite Aid is committed to working with our supplier partners on the safe management of toxic chemicals to ensure the products we sell are safe and healthy for our customers and the environment.  We pledge to keep our stakeholders informed about our continuous efforts and progress in eliminating chemicals of concern from the products we sell.  We are committed to this journey and demonstrating progress through our efforts each year. 


    Current Status:

    Rite Aid has been working in recent years to eliminate chemicals of concern from its product assortment.   In 2016, Rite Aid committed to eliminating eight chemicals of high concern from its private brand formulated products by 2020.  These chemicals include:



    propyl paraben


    dibutyl phthalate


    diethyl phthalate

    butyl paraben

    nonylphenol ethoxylates


    In addition to formulated products, Rite Aid will continue to conduct testing to ensure imported products are compliant with regulatory requirements as well as additional Rite Aid standards.


    Safer Chemical Management

    Rite Aid has launched the following initiatives to strengthen and expand its chemical policy programs:


    Rite Aid has publicly disclosed its Restricted Substance List (RSL), which was expanded to go beyond regulatory requirements and include additional chemicals that the US retail sector has prioritized for elimination.  As a result, the RSL increased from 8 chemicals of concern to 69. View the complete list of restricted substances here.


    Rite Aid has moved from survey-based assessments of RSL compliance to automated screening using the WERCSmart platform. Suppliers are required to report all ingredients in their formulated products to WERCSmart.


    We expanded our focus to cover formulated products made by national brands. Rite Aid screens these products for chemicals on the RSL and for chemicals on the six authoritative and regulatory lists that comprise the Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) stewardship list, which are:


    CA EPA Prop 65 – Reproductive and Developmental Toxicants, Carcinogens

    EPA Toxics Release Inventory PBTs

    EU – Cosmetics Regulation Annex II

    EU – Priority Endocrine Disruptors (Categories 1, 2)

    EU REACH – Annex XVII CMRs (Appendices 1 - 6)

    IARC – Categories 1, 2A, 2B


    Rite Aid has aligned its activities with other retail sector initiatives that are designed to provide suppliers with consistent guidance about the chemicals which retailers believe require special stewardship efforts to meet consumer demand for safer products. 


    Rite Aid is encouraging its suppliers to avoid ingredients on its RSL and on the six authoritative and regulatory lists that comprise the Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) stewardship list and use alternatives identified as “Safer Chemicals” by the US EPA Safer Choice program.


    Product Ingredient Transparency:


    In 2021, Rite Aid will require that its own brand suppliers replace generic ingredient names in their formulations with registered third-party components that identify the constituents in such components by December 2023.  We are also encouraging our suppliers to begin disclosing nonfunctional constituents (such as by-products and contaminants) in their products once this capability becomes available on WERCSmart.


    Rite Aid will promote more comprehensive ingredient disclosure to consumers and will encourage suppliers to publicly disclose all intentionally added ingredients (including the constituents of fragrance and other proprietary components and allergens), as well as nonfunctional constituents, online and on pack (if practicable). 


    Rite Aid has begun to inform customers about products that are “free of” specific chemicals of concern and will begin promoting third party certifications, such as US EPA Safer Choice products. 


    Rite Aid has expanded the scope of its chemical policy to cover harmful chemicals in food contact materials.  Rite Aid requires that own brand food suppliers certify compliance with the Food Contact Materials RSL in the addendum of this policy. 


    Continuous Improvement Goals:

    To assist Rite Aid’s stakeholders in understanding the impact of the objectives outlined above, Rite Aid will  continue reporting progress on our chemical management initiatives, elimination commitment, and program expansion as a part of our annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report.  The report may be found on our website:  www.riteaid.com  


    Rite Aid’s long-term goal is to extend its chemical policy to cover all of the products sold in its stores.  This will be a multi-year effort, and Rite Aid is prioritizing which product categories its chemical program will be expanding into next.  Initially, Rite Aid’s chemical program covered formulated products like over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements, as well as food and beverages.  In 2020, we extended our scope to cover food contact materials and created a corresponding RSL. 


    In 2021, Rite Aid plans to expand its restricted substance list to include toxic chemicals in beauty and personal care products marketed to women of color.  Rite Aid will utilize this expanded RSL for screening purposes similar to the BPC Stewardship list.   


    We plan to enhance consumer transparency in 2021 through the rollout of a new and proprietary, consumer-led product attribution system that supports Rite Aid’s strategy around whole health and cleaner ingredient products. This program will assist our customers in identifying relevant product attributes (i.e. paraben free, cruelty free) in an effort to aid them in their product selection and purchase decision.


    We will continue to review our operations to identify and act on emerging chemical issues that raise significant consumer concerns.




    Restricted Substance List for Food Contact Materials, including Food Packaging


    Chemical or Chemical Class


    CAS #

    Restriction Limit


    Heavy Metals (Pb, As, Cd, Cr VI, Hg)


    100 ppm[i]

    (measured as sum of Pb, As, Cd, Cr VI, Hg)


    Various – all ortho-phthalates[ii]

    1000 ppm[iii]

    (measured as sum of 8 CPSC regulated ortho-phthalates)

    Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl

    Substances (PFAS)

    Various - all PFAS classes[iv]

    100 ppm[v]

    (measured as total F)



    100 ppm[vi]

    Bisphenol Compounds:

    Bisphenol A

    Bisphenol B

    Bisphenol F

    Bisphenol S

    Bisphenol A diglycidyl ether







    5 ppm[vii]

    (measured as Bisphenol A)



    1 mg/m2 [viii]

    Selected Solvents:










    20 mg/m2 [ix]

     (measured as sum of 2-Ethoxyethanol, 2-Methoxyethanol, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, and Toluene)


    [i] Source: Clearinghouse on Toxics in Packaging, Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation. (https://toxicsinpackaging.org/model-legislation/model/).


    [ii] Ortho-phthalates are adjacent diesters of 1,2- benzenedicarboxylic acid with two alkyl groups (or any alkyl group and a benzyl group) with a carbon chain of at least one carbon.


    [iii] Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission, Prohibition of Children's Toys and Child Care Articles Containing Specified Phthalates (2017). (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/08/30/2017-18387/prohibition-of-childrens-toys-and-child-care-articles-containing-specified-phthalates-determinations). The CPSC limit of 0.1% on selected ortho-phthalates children’s toys is being used as an indicator for all ortho-phthalates in food packaging and food handling equipment.  The specific phthalates tested for are: Dibutyl Phthalate (84-74-2), Diisobutyl phthalate (84-69-5), Di-n-pentyl phthalate (131-18-0), Di-n-hexyl phthalate (84-75-3), Dicyclohexyl phthalate (84-61-7), Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (117-81-7), Benzyl Butyl Phthalate (85-68-7), and Diisononyl phthalate (28553-12-0 and 68515-48-0).


    [iv] For purposes of this survey and the attached Supplier Certificate of Compliance, PFAS refers specifically to a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom. For a comprehensive definition, see Buck et al., “Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the environment: terminology, classification, and origins.” Integ Environ Assess Manag 2011 Oct 7(4): 513-541. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21793199).


    [v] Source: EU, Standards for Compostability EN 13432 (https://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030144234). The limit of 100 mg/kg (100ppm) on fluoride as a potentially toxic element is being extended to cover all PFAS class members.


    [vi] Source: In the absence of a relevant restriction limit from a regulatory or certification entity, the restriction limit for perchlorate is being set on par with PFAS.


    [vii]  Source: European Commission, Regulation on the use of bisphenol A in varnishes and coatings intended to come into contact with food and amending Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 as regards the use of that substance in plastic food contact materials.  (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32018R0213&from=EN ).  Note that this restriction limit is a Substance Migration Limit, expressed in mg per kg of food subject to migration, not as a concentration restriction in packaging materials.


    [viii] Source: Level of Quantitation of 9.4 micrograms per square decimeter currently applied by academic researchers studying benzophenone migration into food from packaging (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19440049.2013.837586). The limit is converted to milligrams per square meter to be consistent with the restriction limit for selected solvents.


    [ix] Source: Food Safety Alliance for Packaging, Food Packaging Stewardship Considerations. (https://www.iopp.org/files/Food%20Packaging%20Product%20Stewardship%20Considerations%20FSAP-IoPP%20v1_0.pdf).  Note that this limit is expressed in milligrams of the solvents per square meter of printed packaging component. 


    Updated February 2021