Walmart Takes Lead on Controversial Flame Retardant
Walmart is not waiting for the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) to take action. The world’s largest retailer announced it is banning
all products containing polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a compound
used as a flame retardant that has been linked to a variety of health problems
in lab animals, including brain development and reproduction.
A company spokesperson
told The Washington Post that Walmart had decided
to phase out products with PBDEs "several years ago," but had recently
reminded suppliers it would begin testing for the chemicals in June.
"Wal-Mart has taken an important step toward protecting children and
families from exposure to toxic chemicals," Steve Owens, assistant administrator
of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, told the Post. "EPA
has long had concerns about PBDEs."
The federal agency has labeled PBDEs
as "chemicals of concern," but
may be years away from taking action as the bureaucratic process for review
Some within the chemical industry are taking issue with Walmart’s
Jody Manley, a spokesperson for the American Council on Science and
Health, told The
New York Times, "They’ve been at this for a while, trying
to keep up with the green movement. Sam Walton is probably turning over in
- Wal-Mart bypasses federal regulators to ban controversial flame retardant
– The Washington Post
- Leapfrogging Feds, Wal-Mart Bans Controversial Flame Retardant – The New
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