The Strategist

Lowe's under scutiny for usage of toxic chemical in floorings

04/23/2015 - 02:34

Lowe's under scutiny for usage of toxic chemical in floorings
After Home Depot, environmental and health activists are forcing home improvement store Lowe Co’s to stop selling flooring laminates which has a potentially toxic chemical in it.

While Home Depot, world’s largest home-improvement chain has announced today that it would stop selling vinyl laminates with phthalates by the end of the year, Lowe’s has still not made any declaration on this matter. The company has been maintaining that it needs to work with its suppliers to consider alternatives to offer the “best possible products.”

Lowe’s is the second largest home improvement chain in the US. Phthalates can pose risks to human health, including asthma, harm to male reproductive organs, brain development and the immune system, according to advocates fighting to remove the chemical from products.

“Home Depot’s new policy sends a strong signal to the marketplace that retailers want healthier building materials free of harmful chemicals like phthalates,” said Andy Igrejas, director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, which worked with the Ecology Center to test retailers’ flooring. “We call on Lowe’s and other major home-improvement retailers to join Home Depot in phasing out phthalates in flooring.”

Another home improvement chain, Lumber Liquidators, has also come under immense scrutiny by environmental activists for using toxic levels of formaldehyde in its laminate flooring. The company has also been working with its suppliers to reduce the levels of phthalates in its vinyl offerings.