Implementing Product Safety Confirmation at Every Stage

Product development stage: 1. Careful selection of safe ingredients

Kao Group carefully selects not just safe but also environmentally friendly ingredients for our products.

We have built a comprehensive and most updated safety database on ingredients and raw materials. It covers broad range of materials used not just in household care products, but also in cosmetics, chemical products, and foods, which further enhances its reliability in safety assessment.

Our safety evaluation tests are carried out by following highly reliable, global standard procedures. To ensure safety, we perform safety tests at maximum allowable concentration. In addition, we assess environmental impacts in this process.

We only use ingredients that comply with these strict standards.

Image of Careful selections of safe ingredients: The ingredients are carefully selected after researching on raw material and ingredient information and safety evaluation tests.

Product development stage: 2. Product safety confirmation process

We design necessary tests to assure product safety while taking into account our products’ characteristics and its usage conditions.
We evaluate our product’s safety not just under normal use but reasonably foreseeable use.

Effects on the environment

After the usage, wash-off products such as laundry detergents and dish wash detergents are processed well at the sewage treatment plant before it is released to environment. However, it is possible the products are released into environment especially where sewage-treatment system is not sufficiently functioning.

We evaluate not only human safety but environmental safety.

We assess biodegradability, impact on aquatic organisms and bioaccumulation of ingredients in our products whenever necessary. More importantly, we carefully design products that do not cause negative impacts on the environment.

Product development stage: 3. Evaluation based on various in-use tests

We conduct a variety of usage tests after ensuring sufficient safety of products.

Living environment is different by individuals and the way how people use products is also different. Therefore, it is critically important to comprehensively evaluate and assure quality and safety under actual usage conditions.

For this purpose, we conduct in-use product test for large number of people over a long period of time.
We comprehensively assess product’s safety through in-use tests by confirming usage instructions are rightly communicated with consumers, not causing unexpected issues under actual usage conditions, etc.

Image of Evaluation based on Various in-use tests.  Illustration showing an interview survey and a focus group survey.

Integrated confirmation before product release

Upon successful clearance of various tests, we conduct integrated comprehensive final checks before releasing products for sale.

  1. We review language used in labeling, advertising, websites, and elsewhere to ensure that product usage, precautions, and other product safety information is accurately and easily communicated to consumers.
  2. On top of scientific safety data, we take other factors such as consumer awareness and actual usage conditions into account and finally confirm overall product safety.

We commit NOT releasing our products into the market unless otherwise we sufficiently assure their safety.

Safety management after product release: 4. Communication with consumers

We highly value feedback from our customers and provide every necessary product safety-related information in order to improve our product safety.

For all the customer inquiries on our product coming through various channels (store, call, email, etc.), we commit to provide honest answer until we resolve concerns and dissatisfactions together with our customers.

We give highest priority in handling of physical irregularity case when happens. We uphold the benefit of our customer at most and seriously and honestly seeks for solution for our customer.

Safety management after product release: 5. Maintaining product’s safety - post-product release

Even though product’s safety is well confirmed at the development stage, unanticipated issues might still arise.

Kao Group has established safety management standards called Kao GVP (Good Vigilance Practice).

We purposely collect safety-related information from customers and medical institutions. Our Safety management division confirms the details of each case reported by a doctor or other parties. In the event of discovering a safety concern, we investigate the cause and promptly take the necessary countermeasures. When required by laws or regulations, we use the Post-Market Safety Management System to report the concern to the government agencies at earliest possible timing.
We conduct ongoing safety inspections looking for even higher level of safety.

Diagram of In-market safety management. It consists of three stages: 1. Collecting information: we gather information from customers, retail stores, medical institutions, government authorities, academics, literatures, media, and industry organizations; 2. Detailed check and analysis: we interview physicians and analyze information; 3. Countermeasures and reporting: we take countermeasures and report to the government authorities.

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