Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
Safer Chemicals Healthy Families fights for strong chemical policy, works with retailers to phase out hazardous chemicals from the marketplace and educates the public about ways to protect our families from toxic chemicals.
Started 9 petitions
Best Buy: Protect Americans from toxic plastic chemicals banned in European TVs
The European Union recently voted to ban toxic chemicals called organohalogen flame retardants in TV plastic casings starting April 2021. While the U.S. began to take similar action, efforts have been stalled under the Trump Administration, leaving American families vulnerable. TVs containing hazardous flame retardants in their plastic casings can release them into the air and dust—exposing a family in their own home. Tell Best Buy, the #1 North American electronics retailer, to stop selling TVs with plastic containing toxic flame retardants to families here. Recent testing confirmed that the plastic casings of three out of three TVs purchased from Best Buy, including store brand Insignia TVs, contain these toxic chemicals. And with the Trump administration dragging its feet on restricting toxic chemicals, we need retailers like Best Buy to lead the charge in safeguarding us from these harmful chemicals. If European families will be getting TVs without these toxic chemicals, American families deserve the same. And Best Buy has the power to make it happen! In 2017, along with the vote to put in motion a ban on these toxic flame retardants, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a strong warning to manufacturers and retailers to stop using and selling them in TV plastic casings. But so far Best Buy has NOT eliminated these chemicals. It’s outrageous that companies like Best Buy are ignoring a government safety warning! Scientists have found that exposure to flame retardants is linked to cancer and hormone disruption. Studies have found them in the bodies of adults, children, and fetuses in the womb. And when TVs and other products containing flame retardant chemicals burn, the chemicals can make the smoke even more hazardous for firefighters. They can also be especially dangerous to workers and children who recycle the plastics from TVs and other electronics in facilities around the world. And these chemicals make it much harder to recycle the plastic—adding to our global plastic waste crisis. Here’s the good news: these harmful chemicals can be replaced with safer alternatives. Some companies are already using alternative chemicals or innovating to avoid these chemicals altogether. Electronics brands like Apple have done this for laptops, and TV brands can innovate too! The bottom line is that buying a TV shouldn’t pollute your home with toxic chemicals—or exacerbate the plastic waste crisis. Let’s tell Best Buy: No toxic TVs! Please use your power as North America’s top electronics retailer to get toxic chemicals out of the TVs you sell.
Get toxic PFAS chemicals out of food packaging
When you walk into Albertsons or one of its subsidiary grocery stores, like Safeway, VONS, Jewel-Osco, Acme or Shaw’s, you expect the products on the shelves to be safe. But new laboratory testing indicated the likely presence of PFAS chemicals in samples of the company’s store-brand products and food service ware it uses. PFAS chemicals are contaminating the drinking water of millions of people across America. This toxic contamination is a public health crisis and more needs to be done to end the use of these chemicals in products like food packaging. Tell Albertsons, America’s second-largest grocery company, to get toxic PFAS chemicals off its shelves! Giant chemical corporations like DuPont have pushed the use of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) for their ability to make food packaging grease- and water-resistant. But these harmful chemicals can leach from the packaging's grease-resistant coating into the food we eat. And after the packaging is discarded, these ultra-persistent chemicals can end up in compost, soil, and drinking water. It makes no sense to use toxic chemicals in food packaging that can persist in the environment for generations to come! PFAS chemicals have been linked to cancer, liver damage, and immune suppression. Studies have found them in the blood of nearly every American tested, including newborns. They have no place in the products we buy. New lab testing found that PFAS chemicals were likely present in eight of the ten items tested from Albertsons and Safeway stores. Tested samples included bags of store-brand organic and conventional microwave popcorn, store-brand dental floss and even plates used under store bakery cakes. Enough is enough! Tell Albertsons to keep PFAS chemicals off the shelves at all of its stores, including Safeway, VONS, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Randalls, and Tom Thumb! Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have pledged action on PFAS. In contrast, Albertsons has yet to make a public commitment on these chemicals. As the second-largest dedicated grocery chain in America, with more than 2,200 stores and $60 billion in annual sales, Albertsons has the market power and a moral responsibility to ensure the food and products it sells don’t contain toxic chemicals like PFAS.
Tell Ace Hardware: Stop selling deadly paint strippers
More than 60 families have lost loved ones to the toxic chemical methylene chloride, which can be found in paint strippers on the shelves of Ace Hardware stores. While stripping paint, someone can inhale enough of this chemical to pass out and die. Long-term exposure is linked to liver toxicity, liver cancer, and lung cancer. Many paint strippers also contain a chemical called N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP), which can cause miscarriage and stillbirth. But the tide is finally turning on these toxic chemicals. Other retailers, including The Home Depot and Lowe’s, have announced plans to stop selling paint strippers containing these chemicals by the end of this year. The bad news? Ace Hardware, which many consumers consider their trusted neighbourhood hardware store, has refused to stop selling products containing these dangerous chemicals. Ace is one of the largest hardware chains, with more than 5,000 locations spanning 60 countries. If other home improvement stores can stop selling these products, so should Ace. After all, safer alternatives to these chemicals are already available. In fact, consumers and professional contractors in the European Union have only been able to buy safer products without methylene chloride for more than five years. There’s simply no reason for Ace to keep selling dangerous products. Will you join us in telling Ace Hardware to join The Home Depot and Lowe's in banning these dangerous chemicals in their stores across the world?
Tell Ace Hardware: Stop selling deadly paint strippers
More than 60 American families have lost loved ones to the toxic chemical methylene chloride, which can be found in paint strippers on the shelves of Ace Hardware stores. While stripping paint, someone can inhale enough of this chemical to pass out and die. Long-term exposure is linked to liver toxicity, liver cancer, and lung cancer. Many paint strippers also contain a chemical called N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP), which can cause miscarriage and stillbirth. But the tide is finally turning on these toxic chemicals. Other retailers, including The Home Depot and Lowe’s, have announced plans to stop selling paint strippers containing these chemicals by the end of this year. The bad news? Ace Hardware, which many consumers consider their trusted neighborhood hardware store, has refused to stop selling products containing these dangerous chemicals. Ace is one of the largest hardware chains, with more than 5,000 locations spanning all 50 U.S. states and 60 countries. If other home improvement stores can stop selling these products, so should Ace. After all, safer alternatives to these chemicals are already available. In fact, consumers and professional contractors in the European Union have only been able to buy safer products without methylene chloride for more than five years. There’s simply no reason for Ace to keep selling dangerous products. The Obama EPA proposed banning methylene chloride and NMP in paint strippers in January 2017. But the Trump EPA still hasn’t finalized the ban. In the face of government inaction, retailers are stepping up to protect their customers in the U.S. and other countries. Will you join us in telling Ace Hardware to join The Home Depot and Lowe's in banning these dangerous chemicals in their stores across the world?
Walmart: Stop selling deadly paint strippers
More than 60 families across the U.S. have lost loved ones to a dangerous chemical called methylene chloride. This toxic chemical is found in many paint strippers. Exposure can kill within minutes. Long-term exposure has been linked to liver toxicity, liver cancer, and lung cancer. Yet you can walk into Walmart stores today and buy paint stripper products containing this chemical and another one called N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP), which is known to cause miscarriage and stillbirth. In recent months, three of the nation’s largest retailers—The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sherwin-Williams—have committed to stop selling paint strippers containing these chemicals in all of their stores worldwide. In contrast, Walmart has announced no plans to stop selling them, even though safer alternatives are available. Recently at least four men in the U.S. have died while using paint strippers containing methylene chloride. Most recently, 31-year-old Joshua Atkins died while refinishing his BMX bike. He was the picture of health—an avid biker and snowboarder—but he passed away from using a paint stripper. Walmart sells some of the same type of products that killed these men. Because methylene chloride and NMP are so dangerous, in January 2017 the EPA proposed banning them from paint strippers. But a year and a half later, Trump’s EPA has yet to finalize the proposal. Methylene chloride is already banned from paint strippers in the European Union, which has also restricted NMP. Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and has already curbed the use of other toxic chemicals in the products it sells. To its credit, the company has significantly reduced the use of certain toxic chemicals by 96% by weight in the U.S. over the past five years. But so far, it has not taken action on deadly paint strippers. To protect its customers, Walmart should join other retailers—The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sherwin-Williams—and stop selling paint strippers that contain these dangerous chemicals.
Home Depot: Stop selling deadly paint strippers
No family should lose a loved one because of deadly chemicals. But more than 60 families across the U.S. have lost loved ones to a dangerous chemical called methylene chloride. It’s found in paint strippers on the shelves of The Home Depot and other stores. Exposure can kill within minutes. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride has been linked to liver toxicity, liver cancer, and lung cancer. And another common paint stripper chemical called N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) can have dangerous effects if women of childbearing age or pregnant women use it. The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has warned that just one day of exposure to NMP can cause miscarriage or fetal death. NMP is also linked to decreased birth weight and other fetal developmental effects. Last January, the EPA proposed banning methylene chloride and NMP in paint strippers, but the agency has yet to act. Since then, at least four more people have died from using paint strippers with methylene chloride. They left behind mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends. This May, after more than 200,000 people signed petitions like this one to Lowe’s, that company committed to stop selling paint strippers with these dangerous chemicals by the end of 2018. But Lowe’s top competitor The Home Depot is still refusing to act. There’s just no good reason for retailers like The Home Depot to continue selling products containing these chemicals — especially when safer alternatives are readily available. If you agree that home improvement stores shouldn’t sell dangerous chemicals, please join us in calling on The Home Depot to ban the sale of toxic paint strippers now.
Costco: Get toxic chemicals off your shelves
Costco has built a reputation as a good corporate citizen. The company pays higher than average wages, is America’s top seller of organic products and sells only cage-free eggs. But in one area, Costco isn’t doing so hot—toxic chemicals. Unlike other big retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club and Target, Costco has NOT announced a comprehensive policy to restrict harmful chemicals in the products it carries. We’re talking about chemicals like toxic flame retardants that can harm children’s health. Toxic flame retardant chemicals can be found in couches and other furniture sold at Costco. Study after study has linked these chemicals to serious health impacts. Research shows women with higher levels of flame retardants in their blood can take longer to get pregnant and have smaller babies. Scientists have also found that children exposed in the womb can have lower IQs and attention problems. Other studies have linked flame retardants to cancer, birth defects and early puberty in girls. Recent studies have even linked toxic flame retardants to autism and obesity. While Costco has started selling some flame retardant-free furniture, the company has yet to make a public commitment to phase these chemicals out completely. So they’re lagging behind other retailers like Ashley Furniture, Macy’s and Pier One Imports who have made solid commitments. Costco also has no public policy to keep toxic chemicals out of toys, personal care products or other products on its shelves. Is this what Costco members expect from the company? I don’t think so. Tell Costco to get toxic chemicals off store shelves! Together we can get big retailers to safeguard our health and get toxic chemicals out of the products we buy.
Kroger and Albertsons: Get toxic BPA out of canned food
Did you know that eating canned soup or cooking with canned tomatoes could expose your family to the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA)? A recent report released by the Mind the Store Campaign and other NGOs found this hormone-disrupting chemical in the majority of canned foods tested on store shelves. Tell Kroger and Albertsons to get it off their shelves and switch to a safe substitute! BPA has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, and diabetes. It’s been removed from baby products and many reusable water bottles but it’s still in the plastic lining of lots of cans. It has no place in our food. Study after study has shown that BPA leaches from packaging into food and gets into our bodies. It’s especially harmful to the most vulnerable among us—young children and babies in the womb. Studies have linked kids’ BPA exposure to obesity, asthma and ADHD. Kroger and Albertsons, the biggest grocery chains in the U.S., have the power and a moral responsibility to get this toxic chemical off their shelves. Together, they own over 5,000 stores across the country, including subsidiaries like Safeway, Fred Meyer, Acme, Shaw's and Harris Teeter. Kroger pledged to stop using BPA in food cans in 2011 but years later, it's still in use. Albertsons has also made commitments to act on BPA, but it’s still in their cans. According to the report BPA Buyer Beware, 62 percent of Kroger "generic" cans tested contained BPA and 50 percent of Albertsons and Safeway brand cans analyzed tested positive. Meanwhile, some other leading brands like Amy’s and Con Agra Foods have already completely eliminated BPA from their can linings. Even small doses of BPA have been found to affect health - it doesn’t belong in the food our kids eat. Tell Kroger and Albertsons to get it off their shelves and switch to a safe substitute! Together we can get big grocery retailers to safeguard our health and get unnecessary toxic chemicals like BPA out of the food supply.
Eliminate toxic phthalates in flooring.
A new study found that vinyl flooring sold by Menards and other retailers tested contained phthalates, toxic chemicals that have been restricted in children’s products. Menards is the third largest home improvement chain in the country. The nation's two largest home improvement retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s have both announced they are requiring their suppliers to ban phthalates in all virgin vinyl flooring by the end of 2015. If Home Depot and Lowe’s can ban phthalates in flooring, so can Menards! A growing body of credible scientific evidence has linked exposure to phthalates to serious health concerns: birth defects in baby boys, learning and behavioral problems and asthma in children. Chemicals that are so toxic they have been restricted in children’s toys. What’s worse -- phthalates don’t stay in flooring – they get into the air and dust we breathe in our homes, and then make their way into our bodies. Children and women of childbearing age have the highest level of these chemicals in their bodies. There's some good news! Safer and affordable alternatives to phthalates are available. As the third largest home improvement chain in the country, Menards can help promote healthier and safer products for their customers, by phasing out these unnecessary toxic chemicals in flooring. The company has sales of over $8 billion and 280 stores in 14 states. We at Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families think they have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe, and don't contain toxic chemicals. Don't you agree? Stand with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and tell Menards to be a leader for children's health and stop using dangerous phthalates in their flooring now. We need them to #MindTheStore