NEW YORK, Aug. 22, 2013 – Information gathered by advocates investigating toxic chemicals in food, baby products, toys, furniture, construction materials and other consumer goods was unveiled on a new website today to help identify potentially harmful products and safer ones. SafeMarkets.org reflects the work of many organizations working to remove toxic chemicals from the marketplace and promote an economy based on safe, sustainable products.
“People assume that if a product is on store shelves, that it’s safe; unfortunately that couldn’t be further from the truth. While we wait for urgent reform of federal chemicals regulations, it’s fallen on us to become educated on how to protect ourselves and our families from toxic chemicals in our homes, schools and hospitals,” explains Mike Schade, with Work Group for Safe Markets and Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ). “We’ve been sounding the alarm on toxic chemicals in back to school products, including lunchboxes, backpacks made from vinyl, a plastic with many hazardous ingredients like phthalates, linked to asthma and reproductive harm. Shoppers can find links to CHEJ’s 2013 safer school supplies guide on Safemarkets.org.“
“This is a one-stop shop to provide information for consumers, retailers and manufacturers that are demanding safer products,” adds Beverley Thorpe, with Work Group for Safe Markets and Clean Production Action (CPA). “Here at CPA, we’ve developed the GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals to help manufacturers and retailers choose safer chemical ingredients. This and our BizNGO Guide to Safer Chemicals help businesses make better chemical choices.”
“With toxic flame retardant chemicals in so many things – upholstered furniture, many baby products, and other common household items, even some brands of soda – it’s hard to avoid being exposed to them. Linked to neurological problems, infertility, endocrine disruption, even cancer, it’s crucial for consumers to educate themselves before they buy,” says Kathy Curtis, with Alliance for Toxic Free Fire Safety.
“People of color are disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals,” explains Michele Roberts with the Environmental Justice and Health Alliance. “So it’s particularly important for us to access information about toxics in products marketed to us. SafeMarkets.org is a good start for gaining information on many products in our homes. We look forward to information on personal care products marketed to ethnic markets to be included here in the future.”
Jamie McConnell, with Women’s Voices for the Earth and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, comments: “We’ve tested household products and found carcinogens and other harmful ingredients in cleansers, detergent, room fresheners and other everyday items used in many homes. SafeMarkets.org is helping to promote our reports and information and make them more accessible to consumers and businesses.”
Mia Davis, with Beautycounter, who is expecting her first child, says “It is about time we have a one stop web page that helps parents find safer products for their families. More than ever, people understand how important it is to shop with companies they trust and to support businesses working to create truly safe products.”
“This website helps consumers connect the dots between the choices they make every day to use healthier consumer products, like choices when making big budget decisions about how to build or renovate a healthy home,” according to Bill Walsh, with Healthy Building Network (HBN). “The new SafeMarkets site features a link to the Pharos Project, HBN’s database for building materials.”