The Clean Water Blog

Who's Minding the Store Day of Action

It was a chilly fall day in Connecticut but that didn’t stop Clean Water Action staff and other members of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT from visiting four major retailers on November 14th to help co-release the second Mind the Store Retailer Report Card Who’s Minding the Store? — A Report Card on Retailer Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals.

The Retailer Report card scored retailers on a number of comprehensive factors. It looked at 30 retailers and found that 20 of them are failing. Eleven retailers were evaluated in 2016 and 2017 and have showed substantial improvements in the past year. Seven of them announced significant improvements over the last year alone: Albertsons Companies, Best Buy, Costco, CVS Health, The Home Depot, Target, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. This improvement shows both the impact of the Mind the Store Campaign, as well as growing consumer concern and scientific evidence of health impacts from dangerous chemicals.

Hacah Boros, RN, MSN and mother of two young children, told me that she worries about the growing body of research linking toxic chemicals in products with very serious diseases, particularly in developing babies and young children. Hacah also teach nurses pursuing baccalaureate degrees and learning about the role of the nurse in the community. It was great that one of her students joined us for the day of action. 

Another advocate, Pamela Puchalski, ConnectiCOSH said that reducing toxic chemicals in products is also good for workers and shared her concerns about worker exposure during manufacturing and retail of products or even the handling of thermal paper receipts all day.

Susan Eastwood, mother of two children and long-time Coalition member, shared her story as a member of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT and mother of two children. She felt gratified that retailers are taking action and in particular, CVS, where she shops frequently, has made significant commitments to being a leader in selling healthier products and being transparent with customers. 

Despite the chilly weather, it was fun to talk with store managers about the campaign and urge them to do even more to get toxic chemicals out of products.  Each manager was very interested in our work and most were quite knowledgeable about the issue and consumer’s concerns.  It was time well spent!