Dear Albertsons: When will you protect our health?
Today, I joined the Clean Water Action Boston team to pay a visit to a Star Market in Boston as a part of a national Mind the Store campaign week of action. While other large chain stores like Walmart and CVS have come to the table to implement policy that would phase out their products that contain toxic chemicals, Albertsons – the parent company of Star Market - has refused to do so.
I was shocked to find out that many of the products that I use and that are sold at Albertsons’ stores every single day contain toxic chemicals such as BPA and parabens. An item like hand soap can contain known carcinogens such as DMDM Hydantoin, which releases formaldehyde into the products that we put on our skin. There are even some products – including a barbeque basting brush – that have lead in them! (Lead in food utensils? What’s wrong with this picture!?!) All of these toxic chemicals have been linked to health problems including cancer, developmental disabilities, and reproductive health issues. Yet, they are still being sold to us.
The most shocking toxic chemical containing product to me, however, was the Mom to Mom Baby Oil that includes “fragrance” in the ingredients list. As an umbrella term “fragrance” can hide many toxic chemicals from consumers. This is a product that people use every day on their babies, small children, and frequently themselves too that could contain a host of chemicals that they will never know about. I cannot be silent when I know that the lives of our children are at stake.
Albertsons has not come to the table yet to discuss how it will phase out toxic chemicals from its products. But I know that I will not stop until it does. While we do not know yet what the impact of this week of action will be on Albertsons’ policy, we are now in a better position than ever to ask Albertsons one simple question: When will you protect our health?