Advocates call on The Home Depot to also ban toxic paint strippers containing deadly and dangerous chemicals

Today, The Home Depot announced plans to remove harmful chemicals in cleaning products, in an expansion of the company’s chemical strategy. The Home Depot will require suppliers to remove nine toxic chemicals from cleaning products by the end of 2022, including certain phthalates, parabens, and triclosan. This follows the 2017 release of the company’s chemical strategy, which restricts toxic chemicals in paints, carpets, flooring, and insulation.

The Home Depot is the latest retailer to announce an expansion of its safer chemicals policy. Since January, Walgreens and Target have also announced new initiatives to address harmful chemicals in products.

In November 2017, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ Mind the Store Campaign released its second annual Who’s Minding the Store? report card ranking 30 of the nation’s top retailers on toxic chemicals. The Home Depot ranked 8th, earning a C+ grade.

Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Mind the Store Campaign Director Mike Schade issued the following statement in response to The Home Depot’s announcement:

“We applaud The Home Depot for expanding its chemical strategy to drive harmful chemicals out of cleaning products. The Home Depot recognizes that consumers want cleaning products that are safe for their families. The Home Depot’s expanded policy shows the power retailers have to transform the market away from toxic chemicals and toward safer solutions. Today’s encouraging news builds on The Home Depot’s October 2017 release of its corporate chemicals policy.

Other home improvement retailers like Lowe’s and Ace Hardware should follow The Home Depot’s lead and develop safer chemicals policies to protect their customers from dangerous chemicals.

The Mind the Store campaign is urging The Home Depot to take the next step by expanding its policy to also eliminate methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), two dangerous chemicals that are common in paint stripper products sold in Home Depot stores across the country. More than 50 consumers and workers have died from acute exposure to methylene chloride over the years, and the chemical is also linked to cancer. NMP is linked to reproductive and developmental harm. Analysis shows that more than two million consumers are exposed to these chemicals each year, including through paint stripper products they purchased at home improvement stores. The Home Depot can set an industry-wide standard by taking a bold stand and banning both of these dangerous chemicals from its store shelves.”

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Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families leads a coalition of more than 450 organizations and businesses working to safeguard American families from toxic chemicals. The coalition’s Mind the Store campaign challenges big retailers to eliminate toxic chemicals and substitute them with safer alternatives.