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Asking retailers to get tough on toxics

This week, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families launched Mind the Store, a campaign that asks the nation's top 10 retailers to move away from the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals. The Hazardous 100+ is a list of chemicals that have been determined to be harmful to human health by several states, the U.S. EPA and the European Union and includes Minnesota’s nine priority chemicals in children’s products.

The Hazardous 100+ have been determined by authoritative bodies to be linked to cancer, developmental or reproductive problems, asthma, hormone disruption and other health problems. It includes chemicals like brominated flame retardants and PFOS that build up in the food chain and in our bodies.

These toxic chemicals don’t belong in our food, they don’t belong in our bodies and they don’t belong in our consumer products. Mind the Store is asking the top ten retailers—Walmart, Kroger, Target, Walgreens, Costco, Home Depot, CVS Caremark, Lowe’s, Best Buy and Safeway—to evaluate whether these chemicals are in any of products they sell and if so, to develop an action plan to phase out their use.

Some of these companies are already taking steps to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in their products. For example, Minnesota-based Target Corporation has an initiative to phase out the use of PVC in products and packaging. They also offer an array of cleaning and personal care products with safer ingredients. We’re asking Target and the other nine companies to take the next step and commit to phasing out other harmful chemicals in their products.

Sure, we need stronger regulation of toxic chemicals at both the state and federal levels, but we don’t need to wait for regulation to take action now. The top ten retailers have the power to move the marketplace toward the use of safer chemicals starting today. They can help create a world in which a mom doesn’t have to do a research project every time she goes shopping, a world where all the products on the shelves are safe to buy.   

Let your local retailer know that you want them to phase out the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals in the products they sell, so you don’t have to worry about the products you buy. Send a letter to your favorite retailer today.