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Cute babies and deformed frogs in Times Square turn up heat on retailers over chemicals

Ad Campaign asks Industry Leaders to “Mind the Store”

New York, NY – Consumers fed up with gridlock in Washington are urged to use their power of the purse in new ads running in the retail mecca of Times Square. With the campaign, called “Mind the Store,” the nation’s leading health and environmental groups are challenging its leading retailers to restrict toxic chemicals in the products they sell.

“Chemical companies have blocked basic consumer protections on chemicals through lobbying, campaign contributions, and all the things that people hate about Washington,” said Andy Igrejas Director of the coalition Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, which is sponsoring the campaign. “But the good news is consumers can fight back. Retailers care about consumers and they have the power to restrict toxic chemicals in the products they sell.”

The ads reference cancer-causing flame retardants in couches, formaldehyde in wrinkle-free shirts, and how you shouldn’t need a Ph.D. in toxicology to shop safely. One ad references the studies linking deformed hermaphroditic frogs to chemical exposure, and ponders what they might mean for male anatomy.

Chemicals in consumer products are effectively unregulated in the United States due to a law, the Toxic Substances Control Act that has been described as a failure by the Government Accountability Office, American Academy of Pediatrics and every mainstream health and environmental group. As a result, the vast majority of chemicals on the market have not been evaluated by the government for their health effects, and even known toxic chemicals can legally be used in common consumer products.

Maine and Washington state both have laws requiring the disclosure of some toxic chemicals in consumer products and many retailers have taken action on limited chemical/product combinations. The Mind the Store campaign effectively asks the top ten retailers – from Walmart to Safeway – to expand upon and accelerate those activities. The full list of retailers and chemicals, as well as the details of the demands are available at The ads can be seen

The ads will also be featured on Facebook and Twitter.