Mind the Store. Retailers, Sell Products Sans +100 Hazardous Chems


Many of you know me as the green building guru since I built an eco-friendly house in 2005.   I am constantly emphasizing indoor air quality in our homes on Green Talk.   So, when Safer Chemicals Healthy Family asked me to participate in the  Mind the Store Campaign, I knew it was right down my alley.  The organization  is requesting  ten major retailers to address the 100+  chemicals of high concern in consumers products they sell.  Many building products contain toxic chemicals.

According to the Organization,

“[s]cientists have established links between exposures to many of these chemicals and chronic diseases and health conditions, including cancer,infertilitylearning and developmental disabilities, behavioral problems,obesity, diabetes, and asthma.”

Letters were hand delivered  to the following stores requesting participation in the campaign:

  • Home Depot
  • Lowes
  • Target
  • Walgreens
  • CVS
  • Costco
  • Best Buys
  • Safeway
  • Krogers
  • Walmart

Of course, I was asked to deliver my letter to Lowes due to my green building passion.  When I built my house, I learned how many harmful chemicals existed in building products.  It was a steep, steep learning curve.  None of us should have to be scientists to make sure our home are safe.  Sadly, we are at our greatest risk inside of our homes.

“In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.” [EPA]

Over the last couple of years, building products have become less toxic, but there is still room for improvement.  Certain chemicals listed in the Hazardous +100  are present in furniture, fabrics, cabinets, flooring, stains, paints, and  carpet, wall covering, ceiling tiles, composite wood products (built-in and modular casework), insulation, sealants and varnishes.

My Visit to Lowes

Watch my video, before I hand my letter to Lowes’ Store Manager and afterwards.   Unfortunately  the Store Manager wasn’t available, but I did hand the letter to the Assistant Store Manager.  She listened patiently as I explained the Mind the Store campaign.  In addition, I left my phone number and email if the Store Manager would like to speak to me.

In addition, I thanked Lowes for increasing the supply of green building products in the store.

As of this date, the Store Manager hasn’t call me and hopefully, he sent it to the CEO of Lowes as requested.

What Can You Do?

I started the ball rolling along with other volunteer blogging activists.  But, we need your help.  Here’s what you can do:

  1. Take action and sign the Mind the Store letter urging the top 10 retailers to get tough on toxic chemicals in consumer products.
  2. Share this post with your family and friends urging them to sign the letter as well.

If you’re on Facebook be sure to follow-me  and post a status update with your friends and family. Here are a few sample Facebook updates you can use:

How would it feel to walk into your favorite retailer and know that all of the products were free of toxic chemicals? Today I, along with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, am asking the big ten retailers to make this a reality. Will you send a letter to the big ten retailers and share this image to show your support?! http://bit.ly/ZG5RxM

Tired of going to the store with a list of chemicals to avoid? So am I. Join me in asking the nation’s leading retailers to move away from the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals! Share this photo to show your support and take action now: http://bit.ly/ZG5RxM

If you’re on Twitter be sure to follow me and send a tweet showing your support. Here are a few sample tweets:

I’m asking the big ten retailers to move us away from the Hazardous 100+ and #MindtheStore: http://bit.ly/ZG5RxM @SaferChemicals

Join me in asking the top ten retailers to get tough on toxics: http://bit.ly/ZG5RxM #MindtheStore @SaferChemicals

See what other fellow bloggers are doing to share their support of the Mind the Store Campaign:

Thanks for your support.

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    wow, awesome post Anna. I love your expertise in the green building sector and appreciate your leadership on these issues. You are an inspiration to other women, I hope Lowe’s and other retailers will do the right thing to take action on these chemicals. Let us know when you hear back!


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