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Report Praises Walmart, But Blasts Home Depot, Walgreens And Others For Chemical Policies

A report released this week lauded efforts by Walmart and Target to eliminate toxic chemicals from their supply chains — but said that other large retailers are falling short.

A report released this week lauded efforts by Walmart and Target to eliminate toxic chemicals from their supply chains — but said that other large retailers are falling short.

The analysis by advocacy group Safer Chemicals Healthy Families issued letter grades to 11 large retailers, groceries, pharmacies and home improvement stores in the first such review of retail chemical safety plans in the U.S.

Grades were allocated on a 130-point scale based on publicly available information regarding retailer policies. The average grade — D-plus — indicated "a significant need for improvement," the group wrote.

"Retailers must send a stronger signal up their supply chains — no more toxic ingredients — and consumers should use this report card to decide which retailers to patronize," said report co-author Mike Belliveau.

Walmart and Target each received "B" grades, the highest in the study. The report particularly highlighted Target's improvements, including evaluating supplier transparency and adding more substances to its chemical policy.

Both retail giants were among companies participating in an initiative to improve the use of chemicals in personal care products, and Walmart recently said that it eliminated the vast majority of "high-priority" chemicals from its products.

CVS received a "C" grade after signing the Chemical Footprint Project — the first U.S. pharmacy chain to do so — while Best Buy received a C-minus. Those companies were followed by Home Depot (D-plus), Lowe's and Walgreens ("D" grade) and Kroger (D-minus).

Grocery chain Albertsons was given a failing grade, while Costco and Amazon received the lowest two scores in the report.

The latter company, in particular, drew concerns from the report's authors due to its rapidly expanding market share.

"The eleven retailers we evaluated have combined sales of over one trillion dollars, a market power that can transform the toxic chemical economy," said co-author Mike Schade.

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