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Report: Walmart, Target, CVS Health tops in chemical safety


A new report reveals that some big retailers are cracking down on toxic chemicals in consumer products, while others are serious laggards.

The report, by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, is the first major evaluation of the United States’ largest retailers’ safer chemicals programs. Of the eleven retailers evaluated, three retailers — Walmart, Target and CVS — were found to be setting the pace for the entire sector by making meaningful progress toward safer chemicals and products. The three chains received the highest grades and have developed and made public the most robust safer chemical management programs during the past three years, according to the report.

Retailers were graded on a scale of 0 to 130 points, and a corresponding letter grading scale was developed to match the points. Grades were assigned based on publicly available information concerning retailer policies and self-reported information concerning retailer practices. Walmart scored highest, with 78.5 points (B), followed by Target (76.5, B) and CVS Health (53,C). Amazon scored the lowest, with F grade and 7.5 points.

The report details improvements made to Target’s chemical policy over the past year, including the addition of cosmetics to the categories of products covered by its policy and the expansion of the list of chemicals subject to its policy to include chemicals banned in cosmetics in the European Union and Canada.

In addition, Target significantly improved its evaluation of suppliers’ transparency practices, and added new criteria pushing suppliers to publicly disclose their fragrance palette, allergens in fragrance, and nanomaterials, the report said.

The report also reveals that CVS Health has become the first pharmacy chain in the country to become a signatory to the Chemical Footprint Project. Additionally, CVS Health has pledged to publicly disclose its restricted list of chemicals in 2017.

To see the full “Who’s Minding the Store? -- A Report Card on Retailer Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals,” report, click here.
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