Mind the Store

Mind the Store
 is a nationwide effort to protect families from toxic chemicals by pressing retailers to get tough on toxic chemicals in consumer products. The campaign is asking the country’s ten largest retailers to:

  • Sell products without toxic chemicals and work with suppliers to reformulate products so that they no longer pose a threat to public health.
Who is Organizing Mind the Store?

Mind the Store is a campaign led by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (SCHF). SCHF is a coalition of 450 health and environmental organizations representing over 11 million Americans concerned about toxic chemicals.

In Massachusetts, the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow is spearheading local efforts to hold retailers accountable.

As the country’s largest drugstore chain, Walgreens has the responsibility to protect the health of its customers. In a series of actions in Massachusetts in 2014 and 2015 the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow has kept the pressure on Walgreens, which announced in early 2015 that it would be creating a corporate chemical policy (details have yet to be announced):

On April 16, 2014, youth, activists, and health professionals held a day of action at Walgreens locations nationwide to call for stronger store policies regarding toxic products sold on the retailer’s shelves. In advance of the day of action, advocates purchased products that were known to be toxic, then returned them at the stores and discussed the issue with store managers.  In Massachusetts visits were paid to stores in downtown Boston (pictured above), Dorchester, Marblehead, and Northampton among others. Some of the highlights from those visits are captured in this short video.

On July 16, 2014, Alliance for a Healthy representatives returned to the Boston flagship store to follow up and let Walgreens know that it is still being watched as the company had failed to take action to reduce the sale of products containing toxic chemicals. This visit pointed to a new study showing that some Walgreens products contain harmful chemicals linked to cancer, learning disabilities, infertility and other serious health conditions.

On March 24, 2015, representatives of Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow member groups Clean Water Action and the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition delivered over 135,000 petitions to Walgreens’ Chinatown store in Boston signed by customers from across the country, including many from Massachusetts. The petition called on the retailer to follow through on its commitment to create a comprehensive policy to phase out toxic chemicals in products like cosmetics, children’s and cleaning products.

Why Retailers?

Big retailers have power and so do we. Consumers don’t want to buy things that endanger their health.  But, keeping track of all the toxic chemicals in consumer products is daunting!

Instead of asking every consumer to walk around with a list of 100+ chemicals to avoid, the Mind-the-Store campaign is asking stores to restrict their sales of products that contain these toxic chemicals.

Retailers have a moral obligation to sell safe products—and consumers can help ensure that stores fulfill that obligation.

Ask Big Retailers to Get Tough on Toxics.

Walmart, Walgreen’s, Costco, CVS, Target, Lowes, Home Depot.  The Mind-the-Store Campaign is pressing these stores and others to create company-wide policies that phase out their sales of products with toxic chemicals.

Large, nation-wide chains have enormous power. They sell in communities throughout the country.  Their purchasing power has the capacity to shape the market.

Consumers are already helping change business practices. But there is more to be done. That’s where the Mind the Store campaign comes in.

What are the 100+ chemicals (118 chemicals to be exact!)
  • 101 chemicals that two or government agencies have identified as carcinogens, reproductive toxins, or chemicals of high concern.

Safer Chemicals Healthy Families used the chemical lists created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, European Chemicals Agency, and States of California Maine, Minnesota and Washington to identify the highest priority chemicals for action

  • 18 additional chemicals that are not on two lists but which Safer Chemicals Healthy Families added because there is significant scientific evidence of harm, widespread exposure and/or availability of nontoxic alternative.
What can you do?
  • Email these major retailers and tell them you want them to get toxic chemicals out of their products
  • Plan a meeting with your local retailer.
  • Join our email list to get updates on upcoming actions.
  • Learn more about chemicals linked to harm.

Learn more about products with harmful chemicals.