Every year the top retailers in the US are assessed based on their disclosure of harmful toxic chemicals that are often used in their products. In a country where over 85,000 chemicals that are not fully tested are regularly used in everyday consumer products, disclosure and arming consumers with the right to know is the most powerful tool we have in combating the overuse of these chemicals.
That is why it is imperative to hold retailers responsible for their efforts to eliminate toxic chemicals. The group Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families has released a “report card” detailing retailers’ efforts and how they stack up. The grades ranged from B (good) to F (failing), with the average grade being a D+ according to the group’s website. The report highlights a need to push for more serious and comprehensive approach to eliminating toxic chemicals from consumer products.
The report card itself ranks Walmart and Target among the best for disclosure, while retailers Costco and Amazon occupied the failing grade category.
Click here to check out Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ full report and details on the rankings.
In Vermont, we have managed to make progress on this front. Act 188, also known as the Toxic Free Families Act, discloses dangerous chemicals used in any products marketed to children 12 and under. This will provide Vermont families with a more comprehensive system to check whether or not products for their children contain toxic and potentially harmful substances. These types of disclosures will help consumers pressure retailers to make sure the products they carry are free of dangerous chemicals.