When you walk into a trusted store, you expect the products on the shelves to be safe. But toxic chemicals are hiding in everyday products all around us—from cleaning products and cosmetics to food packaging and electronics. These chemicals can be hazardous not only to consumers but also to the communities, workers, and environment where they’re made and eventually disposed of.
A growing body of science has linked exposure to toxic chemicals to health problems and diseases. These include cancer, learning and developmental disabilities, and reproductive harm. These health effects are so widespread that many doctors and scientists refer to this as a “silent epidemic.”
Just as we are learning more about how many toxic chemicals our families are exposed to, the federal government is rolling back regulation of those products and putting the chemical industry in charge of government programs that are supposed to protect us from chemicals.
It’s time for a change.
With great market power comes great responsibility.
Retailers have the power to decide what products they sell. With that power comes a moral obligation to protect their customers from unsafe products.
We trust retailers to provide the best for our families. It’s time for them to put our health and environment above the special interests of chemical corporations. Big retailers should enact policies to eliminate toxic chemicals in the products and packaging they carry. And there is a strong business case to act. Companies that do not act face mounting reputational, legal, regulatory, and financial risk. Put simply, they’re at risk of losing market share to competitors who innovate.
The Mind the Store campaign
In 2013, we launched the Mind the Store campaign to challenge the nation’s largest retailers. The campaign urges them to eliminate toxic chemicals in products and packaging and develop comprehensive safer chemicals policies. Our campaign is working to transform the marketplace and drive a competitive race to the top.
We have reason for hope. Since we launched the campaign, we have convinced some of the nation’s biggest retailers to phase out numerous toxic chemicals from key products and packaging. These include BPA, phthalates, PFAS, flame retardants, and methylene chloride.
Given the urgency of the public health crisis we face, retailers must continue to drive harmful chemicals out of commerce.
It’s time for leading retailers to “mind the store” and meet the rising consumer demand for transparency and safe, healthy products. The health of our families demands it.