Lowe’s to Eliminate Toxic Phthalates in Flooring by End of 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

(Ann Arbor, Michigan) Matching a commitment from The Home Depot to eliminate phthalates in flooring by the end of the year, Lowe’s has become the latest retailer to pledge to eliminate the toxic chemicals, according to Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and the Ecology Center. The retailer made the commitment following a recent Ecology Center report, which found that 48 percent of Lowe’s flooring samples tested contained toxic phthalates. Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement retailer in the country.

“This is great news for consumers,” said Jeff Gearhart, HealthStuff research Director.  “Next we turn our focus to Lumber Liquidators, Ace Hardware and Menards to adopt a clear timeframe to eliminate toxic phthalates in flooring.”

Lowe’s confirmed the new policy to the “Mind the Store” campaign in a recent email exchange, saying “With more than 90 percent of our virgin product offering sold today currently phthalate-free, the remainder of the virgin product will be free of ortho-phthalates by the end of 2015. Peel and stick product will be the only vinyl flooring product remaining with ortho-phthalates, but only in the layer with recycled content which will be sandwiched between two ortho-phthalate free layers including a durable top wear layer.”

“We welcome and thank Lowe’s for their commitment to transition away from unnecessary toxic phthalates in flooring,” Mike Schade, “Mind the Store” campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families said. “We urge Lumber Liquidators, Ace Hardware and Menards to follow suit in phasing out these chemicals that are harmful for children’s health.”

A recent HealthyStuff.org report found 58 percent of the flooring tiles tested from major retailers contained phthalates. Lumber Liquidators and Ace Hardware had phthalates in all of the samples tested. To date, Lumber Liquidators, Ace Hardware, Build.com, and Menards have not adopted timeframes to phase-out phthalates in flooring.  For more on the April report results, click here.

Phthalates are commonly found in flooring at levels that exceed U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) children’s product standards for phthalates. A growing body of credible scientific evidence has linked exposure to phthalates to serious threats to human health including asthma, harm to male reproductive organs, brain development, and the immune system.  Phthalates can migrate out of flooring materials and get into the air and dust inside homes. 

Contact: Jeff Gearhart, 734-369-9276

Published on May 7, 2015