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Albertsons asked to ban toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products

Grilling BarbecueAlbertsons, the nation’s second largest grocery chain and its subsidiaries such as Safeway, are being urged to stop selling products containing or packaged with toxic chemicals such as lead, formaldehyde, parabens, and BPA.

Mind the Store campaign and health advocates across the country are calling on Albertsons to announce a safer chemicals policy to reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals, as Walmart, Target, and other retailers have done.

In a week-long campaign, advocates will be demonstrating outside stores across the country holding signs and distributing brochures to customers while wearing Hawaiian shirts, pool floats, and other summer items to remind consumers about the present of these chemicals in daily lives. Advocates will also be distributing petitions and making calls to the company’s headquarters.

New research shows toxic chemicals in two dozen products sold by Albertsons, including lead in the handles of summer barbecue basting and cleaning brushes and formaldehyde releasers, parabens, fragrance, and other toxic chemicals in personal care and cleaning products.

“This summer, it’s time for Albertsons to turn up the heat on toxic chemicals,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. “As one of the nation’s largest retailers, Albertsons should wield its market power to drive dangerous chemicals out of products. If retailers like Walmart and Target can do it, so can Albertsons.”

Last year, in a report card rating retailer actions to eliminate toxic chemicals, Albertsons received the third lowest grade of 11 retailers evaluated, with a letter grade of F and 12.5 out of 130 possible points. Albertsons has no public safer chemicals policy in place, said Schade.

While the company has reported some progress in reducing the use of BPA in canned foods, it hasn’t disclosed a timeframe or plan for completely eliminating and safely substituting BPA in canned foods, he said. 

In May, Mind the Store released a new report that found toxic BPA in nearly 40 percent of food cans tested from the nation’s largest grocery stores and dollar store chains. It found that Albertsons continues to sell food cans lined with toxic BPA. Thirty-six percent of Albertsons’ “private-label” food cans tested positive for BPA. While that demonstrates progress since last year, more work is still needed, Schade said.

“Albertsons should make a splash with toxic-free products,” said Tracy Gregoire, healthy children project coordinator for the Learning Disabilities Association of America. “Lead and other toxic chemicals linked to learning disabilities, autism, ADHD, and other challenges have no place in everyday consumer products.”

Groups participating in campaign are in Washington, D.C., and 16 states including: Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.

Copyright 2017, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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