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Lowe’s to eliminate toxic phthalates in flooring by end of 2015

Retail chain joins The Home Depot in eliminating harmful chemicals, while Lumber Liquidators, Ace Hardware and Menards lag behind

(Washington, DC) Matching a commitment from The Home Depot to eliminate phthalates in flooring by the end of the year, Lowe’s has become the latest retailer to pledge to eliminate the toxic chemicals, according to Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. The retailer made the commitment following a recent report, which found that 48 percent of Lowe’s flooring samples tested contained toxic phthalates. Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement retailer in the country.

Mike Schade, “Mind the Store” campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families said:

“We welcome and thank Lowe’s for their commitment to transition away from unnecessary toxic phthalates in flooring. We urge Lumber Liquidators, Ace Hardware and Menards to follow suit in phasing out these chemicals that are harmful for children’s health.”

Lowe’s confirmed the new policy to the “Mind the Store” campaign in a recent email exchange, saying:

“With more than 90 percent of our virgin product offering sold today currently phthalate-free, the remainder of the virgin product will be free of ortho-phthalates by the end of 2015. Peel and stick product will be the only vinyl flooring product remaining with ortho-phthalates, but only in the layer with recycled content which will be sandwiched between two ortho-phthalate free layers including a durable top wear layer.”

A recent report found 58 percent of the flooring tiles tested from major retailers contained phthalates. Lumber Liquidators and Ace Hardware had phthalates in all of the samples tested. To date, Lumber Liquidators, Ace Hardware,, and Menards have not adopted timeframes to phaseout phthalates in flooring. For more on the April report results, click here.

Phthalates are commonly found in flooring at levels that exceed U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) children’s product standards for phthalates. A growing body of credible scientific evidence has linked exposure to phthalates to serious threats to human health including asthma, harm to male reproductive organs, brain development, and the immune system. Phthalates can migrate out of flooring materials and get into the air and dust inside homes.

About Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and the Mind the Store Campaign:
The Mind the Store Campaign is coordinated by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, which is challenging major US retailers to adopt policies to identify, restrict, and safely substitute the Hazardous 100+ chemicals in common consumer products.