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Lowe’s bans PFAS

The public health of Lowe’s has banned the sale of fabric protectors that contain toxic PFAS chemicals in its stores. These chemicals are called forever chemicals.

PFAS chemicals are a class of thousands of man-made chemicals often used to confer increased resistance to oil, water, and dirt. chemicals have contaminated the air, soil, water, plants, and wildlife, and endanger our health.  These chemicals are linked to a variety of health problems, among them cancer and developmental issues, and can be harmful at extremely low doses.

They can damage the immune system and these health impacts and others could make us more vulnerable to COVID-19. The removal of PFAS from products and store shelves is essential in the battle to protect public health from these toxic chemicals. The manufacturers must ensure that chemicals are not replaced with other hazardous substances, commonly referred to as “regrettable substitutes.”

Lowe’s latest action came in advance of the Mind the Store campaign’s fifth annual retailer report card. The company should remove PFAS from all remaining product categories where these forever chemicals are still used, and ensure any replacements are safer. Other retailers like The Home Depot should also join Lowe’s in banning PFAS in these and other products.

3M, has not disclosed the chemicals in some of its reformulated Scotchgard products. Each of the safety data sheets that we reviewed for the reformulated products showed at least one ingredient that has been linked to potential health hazards. ThsState of California determined that PFAS-containing textile treatments used by consumers to make fabrics waterproof or dirt-proof pose a danger to public health and is working to issue final regulations that would restrict their use.

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