- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) - Midwestern home improvement chain Menards announced Wednesday that it will stop selling a vinyl flooring that contains a toxic chemical by the end of the year.

The Eau Claire-based company joins other retailers that plan to end sales of products with phthalates, a family of chemical compounds used to make polyvinyl chloride or vinyl more flexible. The chemical compounds have been banned by federal regulators in many children’s products, but not in flooring, after it was linked to reproductive and development problems.

Two of Menards’ top competitors, The Home Depot and Lowes, agreed this spring to phase out products containing phthalates by the end of this year.

Menards has been pressured by environmental groups to end sales of flooring contained the compounds, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1JReLOF ) reported.

On Thursday, a coalition of Wisconsin public interest groups planned to publically call on the company to end the use of phthalates. An online petition asking the company’s founder, John Menard Jr., to stop using the compounds had more than 3,400 signatures as of Wednesday.

When asked about organizer’s plans for Thursday, Menards told the newspaper that it stop using floor products with the chemicals.

But spokesman Jeff Abbott said in a statement that all of the company’s vinyl flooring products meet government standards.

“We are still aware of the phthalate concern and have been working diligently with our vendors to eliminate any flooring products that contain phthalates,” he said in an email.

Less than 7.5 percent of its vinyl flooring products contained phthalates and the company is no longer purchasing such products, Abbott said.

Eric Uram of Madison, a leader of efforts in Wisconsin to end its use in floor products, said the coalition was pleased to learn that Menards will comply with its request.

“The take-away of this is that Menards has heard from the public, understands the concern and is responding to this,” Uram said. “We applaud that.”


Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, https://www.jsonline.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide