You may have read about my trip to my local CVS just a few weeks ago. I visited CVS to talk to the store’s manager about a new national effort called Mind the Store, a campaign to work with the nation’s Top 10 leading retailers to move the market (and their suppliers) away from toxic chemicals. Special thanks to many of our Climate Mamas and Papas who have told us they are “tuned in and participating” in the Mind the Store Campaign!
In fact, our friends at Safer Chemicals Health Families tell us that nearly 50,000 letters have been sent to EACH of the retailers (close to 500,000 total!) from concerned shoppers – We will continue to work hard here at Climate Mama so that CVS (and the other top 10 retailers) know they will receive a lot more letters and engagement from their shoppers who want to understand what they are doing to keep us all safe. We’ve only just begun.
The Mind the Store Campaign is a year long effort. However, June 1st is the day we asked for a FORMAL written response from of the retailers. We don’t expect that they will already have a plan mapped out about how they will take action on the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals – although that would be nice! We do recognize that creating a corporate policy/action plan on these chemicals will take time. We will have an update from Safer Chemicals Healthy Families on what retailers have responded, but regardless, we want to keep the pressure and show all these retailers that we are committed to getting these toxic and hazardous chemicals out of products that our families use everyday.We need to keep the pressure on as every day new reports are released linking chemicals in products we use regularly and negative health impacts. A recent from Washington State, found more than 5,000 children’s products contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive problems! An analysis of the data by the Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer States found a total of 41 chemicals identified by the Washington State Department of Ecology as a concern for children’s health, including toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury, and antimony, and other organic compounds such as phthalates, arsenic, and bisphenol A (BPA). This is NOT Okay!
As summer approaches (and boy does it already feel like summer for those of us living on the East Coast), many families love to hook up the garden hose to a sprinkler, play and keep cool! While my kids are getting a little old for the sprinkler, they still regularly get the hose out and have some crazy water fights with their friends, often taking cool drinks directly from the hose. This practice is now changing in our house! A new study screened garden hoses purchased from Lowes, The Home Depot, Walmart, Target and Kmart, and released new data that showed PVC hoses still contain phthalates that are banned in children’s products — and that they continue to leach phthalates and BPA at levels that exceed drinking water standards. In fact, one-third of the garden hoses tested contained high levels of one or more chemicals of concern, including brominated flame retardants, phthalates, and antimony. How crazy is that! So no more drinking from the hose, but this now has become a concern for us regarding accessing water to use for our vegetable garden…
So what can you do? Let’s keep the pressure on! Visit one of these top 10 retailers and ask them what they are doing to get hazardous chemicals off their shelves and out of the products we buy from them everyday. Join us and sign on to the campaign today, and visit the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families website to educate your self, your friends and your family, as the saying goes, “knowledge is power!”
P.S. We joined this campaign for a variety of reasons, first of all, because it is important of course! But we also joined because to us, the Mind the Store Campaign is a way to “fight back” in a positive way, against lax regulations that allow our big corporations to circumvent the rules, disregard health data and create unsafe environments for us and our planet. Exemptions to the rules, and waivers around them are most rampant in the USA, as we see that many of these chemicals we are fighting are not removed, and product formulas revised in the same products that are sold in other countries.
At Climate Mama fight this fight everyday as we battle oil and gas companies and try to bring the facts to our public officials and demand action that will not only protect our children, but our future and our now. We need to transform our economy into one that is based on clean, healthy, transparent and renewable options – for the energy we use, the products we buy and the foods that we eat. We The People have power and together we can truly change the world…!