Nearly 70% of companies surveyed improved toxic chemical policies

Nearly 70 percent of surveyed retailers showed improvement in their chemical safety programs over the last five years.

When it comes to protecting consumers from toxic chemicals, companies are rising to the task, finds a March report.

Nearly 70 percent of surveyed retailers showed improvement in their chemical safety programs over the last five years, according to a report released by U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Mind the Store and other partners.

In particular, consumers can celebrate the increasing number of corporate bans and restrictions on toxic PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). Of the 50 retailers surveyed, 12 have pledged to eliminate or reduce PFAS in food packaging — decisions that impact more than 65,000 stores worldwide.

"Retailers are really the last line of defense between the everyday consumer and products containing toxic chemicals,” said Gina Werdel, U.S. PIRG’s Make It Toxic-Free campaign associate. “With this report, it’s clear that many of these companies are stepping up to accept that responsibility."

U.S. PIRG is continuing to call on Burger King to remove PFAS from its food packaging.

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Read the report.

Photo: A 2020 report released by Illinois PIRG Education Fund found that food packaging at McDonald's tested beyond the fluoride screening level for PFAS. “Is it really worth risking our health so our hands don’t get greasy?” asks Danielle Melgar. Credit: Staff