Read the full article by Sujatha Bergen (NRDC)

“In a step forward for public health, Lowe’s has banned the sale of fabric protectors that contain toxic PFAS chemicals in its stores.

PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a class of thousands of man-made chemicals often used to confer increased resistance to oil, water, and dirt. These chemicals have contaminated the air, soil, water, plants, and wildlife, and endanger our health. PFAS are linked to a variety of health problems, among them cancer and developmental issues, and can be harmful at extremely low doses. They can impact the immune system and these health impacts and others could make us more vulnerable to COVID-19.

In an update to its safer chemicals policy Lowe’s added a commitment that ‘all fabric protection sprays are free of PFAS chemicals.’ The commitment follows a company pledge in 2019 to stop the sale of all indoor residential carpets and rugs treated with these toxic chemicals. Lowe’s latest action comes in advance of the Mind the Store campaign’s fifth annual retailer report card, slated for release tomorrow. 

Lowe’s shouldn’t stop there. The company should remove PFAS from all remaining product categories where these forever chemicals are still used, and ensure any replacements are safer. Other retailers like The Home Depot should also join Lowe’s in banning PFAS in these and other products.

Lowe’s new commitment comes after 3M—the manufacturer of Scotchgard-branded aerosol fabric protector cans – stopped selling Scotchgard branded aerosol cans with PFAS as of June 2020. This is good news. It is unfortunate, however in the meantime, that 3M has reformulated its Scotchgard consumer products while at the same time the company continues to argue that PFAS chemicals are safe. In addition, the company has announced no such reformulation of its commercial fabric protectors…”