Home Depot won't sell rugs coated with 'forever chemicals'

Home Depot won't sell rugs coated with 'forever chemicals'
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Home Depot announced Tuesday that it will stop selling rugs and carpets coated with “forever chemicals” linked to cancer and other health issues.

The class of chemicals known as PFAS is used in a variety of nonstick and stain resistant products, including carpeting and furniture. But it is also known as a “forever chemical” due to its persistence in both the environment and the human body. 

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“Excluding PFAS from the carpets and rugs we sell is another example of our shared commitment to building a better future for our customers and the planet,” Ron Jarvis, vice president of environmental innovation for Home Depot, said in a release announcing the phase out of the products by the end of the year.

Environmental groups are calling on other retailers to follow suit.

“Home Depot is sending a message to the entire home goods industry and carpet manufacturers, making clear that this chemical has no place in American homes. By stopping the sale of these carpets, retailers can shut down a major route for exposure to PFAS and all the associated health threats that come with it,” said Sujatha Bergen, director of health campaigns for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

PFAS has been a growing concern of lawmakers as contamination spreads into the water supply both from production of the chemical and the use of firefighting foam that relies heavily on PFAS.

Lawmakers have added language to the defense policy bill that would help promote efforts to clean up water contaminated by PFAS. The bill would also force the Environmental Protection Agency to set a drinking water limit on the substance.