Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Shoppers Beware: Toxic Chemicals Found in 150 Consumer Products

Shoppers Beware: Toxic Chemicals Found in 150 Consumer Products

Products with chemical hazards remain widely available in stores. Shoppers need to take caution this holiday season.

Although major retailers such as Walmart and Target have established policies to address many of these chemical hazards, those retailers still carry many toxic products. And many other retailers do not have such policies.

The gem in this earring cuff contains more than 100,000 ppm lead, says an informal survey by HealthyStuff.org. Photo credit: HealthyStuff.org

But a consumer armed with information, such as this recent informal survey by HealthyStuff.org, can avoid these products. HealthyStuff.org, a project of the Ecology Center, recently looked at a number of consumer products to see what hazards are sitting on store shelves.

Bottom line? “We found we still have work to do,” said Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center and HealthyStuff.org.

Researchers used x-ray fluorescence technology to examine 150 products from 11 national retailers for lead and other metals, hazardous flame retardants and phthtalate plasticizers.

They found cooking utensils with brominated flame retardants, lead in jewelry and phthalates in flooring and exercise equipment. And despite retailers' chemical hazard policies, they still had products with toxic components on their shelves. For example, a red belt with silver studs made by No Boundaries and sold at Walmart had more than 1,000 ppm lead.

Other examples of products in the report include:

Other findings:

  • More than three-quarters of the products contained at least one or more chemicals of concern at detectable levels.
  • One-third had three or more chemicals of concern at detectable levels.
  • Halogenated plastics and flame retardants were found in large numbers of products. About 46 percent contained polyvinyl chloride or chlorinated flame retardants. Nine percent contained brominated flame retardants.
  • Hazardous heavy metals also were found. Twenty-three percent had levels of antimony above 100 ppm; 36 percent had levels of tin above 100 ppm; and 7 percent had levels of lead above 100 ppm.

HealthyStuff.org and the Ecology Center support the Mind the Store campaign organized by Safer Chemicals/Healthy Families, which is urging consumers to pressure retailers to disclose the chemicals in the products on their shelves and to eliminate the worst known hazards.


OlgaMiltsova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Gwen Ranniger

In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


JasonOndreicka / iStock / Getty Images

Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Protestors walk past an image of a Native American woman during a march to "Count Every Vote, Protect Every Person" after the U.S. presidential Election in Seattle, Washington on November 4. Jason Redmond / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."

Read More Show Less
Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images

By Christina Gish Hill

Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.

Read More Show Less
Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less