Healthy Children Project
by Maureen Swanson, HCP Director

The Learning Disabilities Association of America and 10 state affiliates have joined a national effort to urge the country’s top retailers to help get toxic chemicals out of the products they sell. LDA is asking major retailers to “Mind the Store” as part of a campaign launched in 2013 by the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition, of which LDA is a founding member.

Top retailers such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens and Best Buy have enormous power to determine what chemicals and materials their suppliers use in the consumer products they provide for store shelves. The 10 major retailers that are the focus of the “Mind the Store” campaign are: Walmart, Costco, Target, Best Buy, Walgreens, CVS, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and grocery store chains Kroger and Safeway.

In part as a result of outreach and pressure from the coalition, Walmart recently announced that it has developed an initial list of 10 toxic chemicals of high concern that suppliers should stop using. Target also recently announced plans to evaluate suppliers in part based on their adherence to using non-toxic chemicals and materials. In recent months, other retailers have begun discussions with Safer Chemicals Healthy Families regarding plans to restrict the use of toxic chemicals in products.

LDA is helping to spearhead coalition efforts to engage Walgreens in taking steps to reduce toxic chemicals in the products the drugstore giant sells, especially chemicals that can harm brain development. Cleaners, toys and baby products, cosmetics and personal care products are among the items that can contain chemicals linked to cancers, endocrine disruption and learning and developmental disabilities. Chemicals of greatest concern include flame retardant chemicals, phthalates, lead, solvents such as toluene and endocrine disrupting chemicals like Bisphenol-A. 

Look for action alerts, Facebook posts and tweets and even store events this spring and summer as LDA asks retailers to “Mind the Store” and make products safer and healthier for everyone, especially children! We hope every LDA member, parent, teacher and consumer will join us in taking action. 

LDA affiliates working collaboratively on the retailer campaign include LDA of Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma and Michigan. Tracy Gregoire with LDA-ME and Maureen Swanson with LDA’s national office are coordinating the market pressure work, which LDA expects to expand in coming months.

LDA members or affiliates, who are interested in being involved with this important and effective retailer campaign, please feel free to email Maureen Swanson.

Click here for more information on “Mind the Store.”



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