Lowes Joins Home Depot To Combat Toxic PFAS Chemicals

In a major campaign against PFAS chemicals that have had a devastating effect on the environment and human health for decades, home improvement giants Lowes and Home Depot have announced they are phasing out the use of the chemicals in carpeting and other products.

PFAS chemicals have been a longtime scourge of the environment and human health, causing all sorts of problems such as cancer. PFAS chemicals have been used in all sorts of products, most notably cooking ware such as non-stick pans. Lawmakers recently took companies to task for dumping PFAS chemicals into waterways for decades.

According to Earthjustice:

PFAS don’t easily break down, and they can persist in your body and in the environment for decades. As a result of their pervasiveness, more than 95 percent of the U.S. population has PFAS in their bodies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to one senior CDC official, the presence and concentration of PFAS in U.S. drinking water presents “one of the most seminal public health challenges for the next decades.”

Frankly, it’s an absolute epidemic and one that must be tackled immediately in the most aggressive way.

In response to the outrage over PFAS chemicals, Lowes announced a new chemical policy last week and will be phasing out carpeting that uses PFAS chemicals by January 2020.

“All indoor residential carpet and rugs purchased by Lowe’s will be free of PFAS chemicals by January 2020,” the company said in a press release. “There has been a growing concern that there are hazardous chemicals that can be persistent and build up in the environment and have significant adverse human and environmental health effects. While regulations are being strengthened, certain concerns remain unregulated and may impact the health and safety of Lowe’s products. As a responsible corporate citizen, Lowe’s takes product safety and environmental sustainability very seriously. To manage chemicals more responsibly, Lowe’s implements this safer chemicals policy through a number of strategic actions and commitments.”

This move by Lowes follows an earlier announcement by Home Depot, which joined the anti-PFAS movement in September.

“In partnership with suppliers, The Home Depot is working diligently to offer products that are innovative and safer for the environment,” the company announced on its website. “The Home Depot is committed to minimizing the environmental impact of the products on its store shelves and has led the industry in creating chemical standards to do just that. To build upon the strategy, The Home Depot will be phasing out Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) December 31, 2019, in the U.S. and Canada in carpets and rugs.”

“Excluding PFAS from the carpets and rugs we sell is another example of our shared commitment to building a better future for our customers and the planet,” says Ron Jarvis, Home Depot vice president of environmental innovation.

Both statements represent a blow to these toxic chemicals and sends a message to manufacturers and suppliers that they also need to cease using them if they want to remain in business with retailers. Make no mistake, war is being declared on PFAS chemicals, and it’s about time.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.
 

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