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Nation's Top Ten Retail Chains Urged to Remove 100 Toxic Chemicals


A new campaign sponsored by the advocacy group Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is targeting the nation's top ten retailers, who they claim aren't doing enough to protect Americans from common toxins, reports Rodale.

The campaign, called "Mind the Store," has begun sending letters to the retail chains urging them to remove chemicals from their stores. The list includes: Wal-Mart, Kroger, Target, Walgreen's, Costco, The Home Depot, CVS Caremark, Lowe's, Best Buy and Safeway.

Part of the motivation behind the campaign was inspired by the lack of reform on 1976's Toxic Substances Control Act. The TSCA requires the EPA to test chemicals for safety, which the agency only does once it has been established that a certain chemical poses a human health or environmental risk. According to Rodale, the EPA has only banned five out of 84,000 chemicals on the market and has only required testing on 200. Insufficient labeling requirements on chemicals also make it difficult for consumers to navigate products effectively.

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The letters are asking the chains to cut out products that contain some of 100 chemicals linked to cancer, hormonal disruption, reproductive damage and harmful environmental impacts. These chemicals and their known health risks come from lists compiled by the EPA and EU as well as several state governments.

Some of the stores have already made efforts to remove some of the chemicals and make healthier options available to consumers, but Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families says it's simply not enough. With more than 100 toxins to look out for while shopping, consumers can become confused and overwhelmed. "It's not feasible to ask the average person to keep 100-plus chemicals in their head when they go to the store," Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families states on its website. "It is feasible, however, for the nation's largest retailers to maintain and act on such a list."

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Image: JD Hancock

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