A toxic situation: Walmart and Target take on chemical safety (The Guardian, 12/17/2013)



The Guardian's first story in a series on US retailers' efforts to curb chemicals in household products poses the question: Are big-box stores like Target and Walmart shaping de facto industry standards for everyday products?

The article begins by describing our recent face-off with Revlon, the cosmetics giant that threatened us and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics with legal action after we asked them to take cancer-causing chemicals out of their products.

In a perfect world, The Guardian's Marc Gunther writes, "the government would rely on sound science to regulate chemicals in personal and home care products, and consumers could safely assume that there's no need to worry about the things they buy." But, since that's not the case, Janet Nudelman, the Breast Cancer Fund's director of program and policy, argues that even though regulation is ideal, companies need to act on their own.

"Manufacturers should be voluntarily moving toward safer alternatives because they're out there," she says. "A corporation with a good conscience that cares about consumers shouldn't need a law."

Follow the full series at The Guardian's sustainable business page for more to come this week.


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