The Clean Water Blog

wrapped presents

Wish list for 2019: healthier holiday gifts

I hope that the holiday season was for you a time of joy and togetherness. If you’re like many people, December also meant shopping—for friends, family, or even yourself. Gift giving is a way to show kindness and appreciation to our loved ones, but all too often we may give gifts that cause unintended harm as well.

Many of the products sold by major retailers in the US contain toxic chemicals that can harm your health. For example, TJX is a Massachusetts-based company that owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Sierra Trading Post and HomeGoods. Unfortunately, it received a grade of F for its lack of attention to toxic chemicals in this fall’s Retailer Report Card by the Mind-The-Store campaign. TJX is certainly not alone, so no matter where you shop this holiday season, it’s good to keep in mind that the presents we are buying may contain harmful toxic chemicals.

What chemicals are we talking about? Examples include perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in packaging, furniture, clothing and non-stick pans and phthalates in plastics and personal care products. Everyday products sold by TJX retailers and other retailers such as children’s toys, electronics and clothing may be exposing your loved ones to more than you bargained for.

In a recent report, the National Retail Federation highlighted that 41% of gifts given in 2018 would be toys and 59% would be apparel or clothing.1 Toys and clothing are near the top of the list for products that may contain PFAS, phthalates or other harmful chemicals.

Luckily, there is something you can do now so that in the future, we will have to worry less about holiday shopping. Tell TJX today to take care of its customer’s health by getting toxic products off the shelves. We shouldn’t have to worry about wrapping carcinogens up with our holiday gifts; retailers and manufacturers should take responsibility by making and selling safe products in the first place. Write to TJX now!