Another one bites the toxic dust: Lowe’s, America’s second-largest home improvement retailer, today announced that the chain will phase out hormone-disrupting phthalates in flooring by the end of 2015, following the lead set by Home Depot last month. Lowe’s is on a roll: Last month they announced stores would begin a four-year phase out of bee-killing neonicotinoids–aka “neonic”–pesticides, which have been linked to colony collapse disorder. My takeaway from all this? Consumer activism works!
The actions on phthalates taken by Home Depot and Lowe’s are a direct result of a stunningly well-executed campaign from Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, which encouraged consumers to target these and other building retailers after The Ecology Center’s Healthy Stuff found 58 percent of flooring tiles contained phthalates, many at levels far higher than those recommended by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as safe for children. Lowe’s move to eliminate neonic pesticides was the result of a two-year campaign by Friends of the Earth that mobilized a consumer boycott.
So let’s keep signing those petitions and voting with our dollars until retailers stop putting toxic products on their shelves!