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Toxic chemical ‘Hall of Shame’ includes major retailers

A dozen companies have gained F for growing the problems of toxic chemical. The report is a collaboration of nonprofit partner organizations, including the environmental advocacy groups Toxic-Free Future, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and Defend Our Health.

The hall of shame includes many well-known retailers like  Starbucks, Subway, Publix, Nordstrom, Ace Hardware, 7-Eleven, Sally Beauty, and Restaurant Brands International (RBI), the parent company of Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Hortons,

Mike Schade the report co-author and Mind the Store campaign director said that all companies must get more than 15 points to break the F. The companies can earn up to 164 points. Nordstrom earned 13 points while Target earned 105 points. These two retailers are repeatedly appearing in the Hall of shame. Four companies failed to score a single point for public actions to adopt safer chemical policies. Those companies were the 99 Cents Only Stores, Publix, Metro, and Sally Beauty.

Retailers are increasingly phasing out entire classes of toxic chemical. Nearly 12 major retailers with some 65,000 stores worldwide have now pledged to eliminate or reduce PFAS from food packaging, Walmart has set a goal of reducing chemical in products by 10% by 2022.  McDonald’s pledged to phase out all PFAS in food packaging by 2025 and is tackling the issue of bisphenols and phthalates as well. That pledge was enough to move their score from an F to a D.

The World Health Organization has warned about the dangers of mercury in skin-lightening creams. The studies have found endocrine-disrupting chemical in hair relaxers and other products marketed to women of color. Formaldehyde is released into the air as a gas when some hair solutions are applied and then processed with heat.

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