unnamedWe recently became aware from the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Mind the Store campaign of a class of chemicals known as phthalates. Phthalates make plastics soft and pliable, and are used in many products, such as food packaging, personal care products, and vinyl flooring. But they can have negative health consequences, especially for fetuses and young children.

Congress has recognized the dangers by enacting legislation that bans certain classes of phthalates from children’s toys. Now that toys are safe, advocates are turning their attention to the phthalates found in vinyl flooring, which can be released into the air.

Exposure to these chemicals has been shown to reduce testosterone production in male fetuses, resulting in birth defects and compromising childhood development. Young children in their crawling stages come into frequent close contact with floors and have higher ventilation rates and hand-to-mouth activity, all of which increase their exposure to the toxic phthalates released. It increases the risk of a child developing allergies or asthma.

Home Depot and Lowe’s have already said they will eliminate phthalates in vinyl flooring they sell by the end of the year. If these home improvement chains have recognized the dangers these chemicals pose to our nation’s children and decided to take action, shouldn’t other stores do the same?

We sent a letter to Menards, the third largest home improvement chain after Home Depot and Lowe’s, explaining how phthalates compromise children’s health and expressing our hopes that they will commit to ending the sale of vinyl flooring containing phthalates.

As children’s advocates, we believe that families with children should never have to worry about whether products they buy will threaten their children’s health. Will you join us and take action today by emailing Menards and let them know how you feel? It’s easy, it doesn’t take long, and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families even has some text to get you started.

Act Now

.@Menards: eliminate toxic phthalates from your vinyl flooring via @First_Focus Voices For Kids Blog http://bit.ly/1Qzbk2
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Want to learn more? First Focus Campaign for Children is a bipartisan organization advocating to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. Learn more about our work on child safety.

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