Campaign urges 10 retailers to clear potentially toxic products from shelves

NEW YORK — A national campaign launched by heath and environmental groups is targeting 10 major retailers to encourage them to remove from their shelves products that contain potentially hazardous materials.

The “Mind the Store” campaign, launched by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families as well as dozens of other groups, is calling on retailers to end the use of what it refers to as “the Hazardous 100+ chemicals." These chemicals include formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates and BPA/BPS and are used in a wide range of products, including some beauty and personal care items.

According to the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families group, “Scientists have established links between exposures to many of these chemicals and chronic diseases and health conditions, including cancer, infertility, learning and developmental disabilities, behavioral problems, obesity, diabetes, and asthma.”

The retailers on the target list are Walmart, Kroger, Target, Walgreens, Costco, Home Depot, CVS Caremark, Lowe’s, Best Buy and Safeway.

According to published reports, the groups are sending a letter Wednesday to the 10 retailers asking them to develop a plan within a year to phase out use of the chemicals.

USA Today reported that some of the retailers have already taken action. “In 2007, Target and the parent company of Sears and Kmart announced plans to join Walmart in phasing out polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from products. In 2011, Walmart said it would stop using a controversial flame retardant. Kroger, which phased BPA out of cash register receipts in 2011, said in 2012 that its Simple Truth products would be free of 101 chemicals and ingredients. Lowe's and Home Depot have stopped selling driveway sealants that contain coal tar, which has suspected carcinogenic chemicals,” the USA Today article states.

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