The Fight for Safer Chemicals - May 2015

May 5, 2015

Mind the Store—pushing top retailers to shift away from toxic chemicals—and winning!

Clean Water Action continues to work with our national colleagues on the Mind the Store campaign. We identified the top 10 retailers and are urging them to move away from using toxic chemicals in their products. Over the past months, we’ve had several major successes:

  • Walmart announced that they will identify and list chemicals of concern and work with their suppliers to begin a phase out process
  • Ashley Furniture, the #1 manufacturer and retailer of furniture in the U.S., announced that they are no longer using toxic chemical flame retardants in their products
  • Ethan Allen, headquartered in CT, has also moved away from using chemical flame retardants
  • Home Depot just announced that they will  no longer use phthalates in vinyl floor tiles

This is BIG news and we are thrilled with our progress so far but there is more to do!  So what’s up next? 

  • We continue to urge Walgreens, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, to step up, identify chemicals of concern in products and to work with suppliers to shift to safe alternatives.   
  • We delivered 135,000 signatures to a Walgreens in Hartford on March 12th.  The store manager was very interested and promised to discuss the problem with corporate leaders.
  • On April 22, Earth Day, we co-released the report “Floored by Phthalates” and visited Lowe’s in Cromwell to share that a tile purchased in their store tested positive for phthalates. 
  • View the report here: Floored by Phthalates

Reducing toxics through state purchasing!

We don’t often think of the state as a consumer but in fact the state purchases millions of dollars worth of products and has huge purchasing power with companies. Connecticut has done great work to require the use of green cleaners, reduce the use of bottled water, require all paints to be low-VOC but we can do more!  We’re working on a campaign now to urge Governor Malloy to lead the way by continuing to require products purchased for the state to be free of toxic chemicals. 


Clean Water strongly supports Senate Bill 366 An Act Concerning Notice of Pesticide Applications at Public Schools and Authorizing the Use of Certain Microbials. The bill will require extended notification (72 hours) to parents prior to any pesticide application at schools.