Two safer chemicals initiatives garner national headlines: Mind the Store campaign and The Safe Chemicals Act of 2013

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

This morning, two major daily newspapers carried stories on initiatives to ensure the safety of products containing chemicals to which people are increasingly exposed in their daily lives.

A story in USA Today covers the launch of Mind the Store, a campaign that asks the top 10 retailers in the country to develop and make public their plans to address toxic chemicals in the consumer products they sell. 

Also today, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story on the introduction of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013 in the U.S. Senate, which would amend the core provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time since its passage 37 years ago. 

See more information on each of these initiatives below. 

Mind the Store

The Mind the Store campaign, managed by the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition (of which EDF is a member), has provided the top 10 U.S. retailers with a list of 100 toxic chemicals and chemical groups that have been identified by authoritative bodies as posing serious hazards, as well as nearly 20 additional chemicals/groups that pose similar concerns and are in some cases being used or considered as replacements for chemicals on the first list.

In letters sent to each of the retailers, Mind the Store is asking them to work with their suppliers to identify which of the Hazardous 100+ list of chemicals are in products they sell, and to develop a public “plan to address them, including reducing, eliminating, or safely substituting the chemicals as appropriate.”  The top 10 retailers (in order of size) are:  Walmart, Kroger, Target, Walgreens, Costco, The Home Depot, CVS, Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Safeway.  The list, the letters and everything else you need to know about the campaign are all here.

Safe Chemicals Act of 2013

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2013 is sponsored by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who are joined by 27 other Senators as original co-sponsors.  It is actually a re-introduction of the same bill that was passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last July.  As you’ll recall, the bill was heavily modified relative to the original version (introduced back in 2011), specifically to address concerns raised by the chemical and consumer products industries and based on extensive input from and dialogue with those companies and trade associations that were willing to engage in improving the legislation.

Here are some additional materials describing the legislation that you may find to be of interest:

 

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