Tec Laboratories


Careers at Tec Laboratories

Why work for us

Tec Laboratories, Inc. is a manufacturer of over-the-counter pharmaceutical dermatological preparations. The company was founded in 1977 by a former Mead Johnson executive, chemical engineer Robert L. Smith, and is headquartered in Albany, Oregon. The companys products, including its flagship poison oak scrub, Tecnu, are sold in approximately 47,000 retail outlets which have sold over 53 million units as of the spring of 2014. In the early 1950s, during the Cold War, chemist Dr. Robert Smith invented a waterless skin cleanser for the removal of radioactive dust. In 1962, Smith relocated his family from Indiana to Oregon, where his wife Evelyn Smith, discovered that the cleanser, by then named Tecnu (for “technically new”), had another use. After an exposure to poison oak, to which she knew she was allergic, she washed the affected areas with Tecnu and did not get a rash. After more testing the cleanser was proven successful at removing the rash-causing oil found in the resin urushiol of the native plants poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac from skin, clothing, and pets’ fur. Smith also learned that the cleanser removed grease, pitch, sap and even skunk odor. Additional testing was conducted by the Oregon State University Forestry Department. In 1977, Dr. Smith established Tecnu Enterprises to manufacture his Tecnu scrub for commercial distribution. Initially housed in the familys garage in Corvallis, Oregon, the firm soon moved to a more permanent manufacturing facility in neighboring Albany.