The good news: Best Buy bans a class of toxic flame retardant chemicals in its specific brand of TVs

The good news: Best Buy bans a class of toxic flame retardant chemicals in its specific brand of TVs

best buy is announced A Major New Commitment to Safer Products: All redesigned models of Best Buy’s exclusive brand televisions (like the Insignia) will no longer contain toxic organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs) in display enclosures and stands starting this year.

As shown in our testing, plastic casings of TVs contain large amounts of this harmful class of flame retardant chemicals. Many of the TVs found in average American homes leak flame retardants into our indoor air and household dust, TVs are a major source of exposure to toxic flame retardants for our families and pets.

Best Buy’s action will improve the safety and stability of televisions sold by the company, as many OFRs have been linked to cancer, damage to the nervous system, hormone disruption, and other health problems.

Televisions announced by Best Buy must meet the new OFR restrictions outlined in the EU ecodesign regulation. From now on, all updated Best Buy models will meet these restrictions on the class of organohalogen flame retardants.

It’s a Big Deal, Because Best Buy Has second largest retailer The first major North American retailer of consumer electronics in North America and the first to restrict OFR in its private-label televisions. With this move, Best Buy will show it’s possible to make TVs without these toxic chemicals in display enclosures and stands.

We urge other major retailers like Amazon and television brands like Samsung and Hisense to join Best Buy in banning OFRs in plastic television enclosures.

Evaluating the security of options

Perhaps just as important, the company is not only prohibiting a highly hazardous class of chemicals but is also ensuring that replacements are safely secured. The company has worked with its suppliers to evaluate options green curtain Chemical Risk Assessment Framework Importantly, Best Buy’s suppliers have identified an alternative with an improved safety profile. The company has ensured that replacement flame retardants are not in the highest hazard category under greenscreen, and its alternative meets this goal and is currently under Greenscreen as Benchmark 3 (ranked high for no hazard) Designated accomplishes this goal with a flame retardant. It should serve as a model for other major retailers and brands.

Best Buy’s Journey Toward Safer TV

Best Buy’s action is a remarkable win for the Mind the Store campaign, Toxic-Free Future, Clean Water Action and other NGO partners and consumers across the country. Our Mind the Store campaign has been calling for Best Buy to act on toxic flame retardant chemicals in television for many years.

Best Buy’s journey to safe television began in August 2017, when it launched A chemicals policy that we hailed as a positive step to address toxic chemicals in electronics. The company stated in its policy, “We want to reduce the use of chemicals, eliminate chemicals of concern and improve the general management of chemicals.”

In the years since, we have continued call the company To implement the policy by reducing and eliminating organohalogen flame retardants and other toxic flame retardants in television and other electronics. In 2017, we published our first report with Clean Production Action, revealing OFR in high concentrations in plastic enclosures in TVs. In May 2019, we conducted a letter to Best Buy from over 50 consumer and public health organizations Asked the company to take action. A few months later, we released a second report that found that both Best Buy and Amazon were selling private-label TVs with significant concentrations of OFRs in plastics. We also sent a letter to Amazon and started a petition urging Best Buy to eliminate toxic flame retardant chemicals from its products.

We’ve followed through on these efforts by providing policy recommendations and technical expertise, and engaging Best Buy behind the scenes through our publications Annual Retailer Report Card, We have also drawn attention to new scientific studies that have been published demonstrating the risks of organohalogen flame retardants to our families.

Today all that work paid off.

We commend Best Buy for taking action on this important public health issue. And we hope Best Buy doesn’t stop here. The company must also prohibit OFR in all brand-name televisions it sells.

Flame retardants are being banned in electronics worldwide

Best Buy’s actions come at a time when OFRs are being regulated around the world.

In 2017, US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns Electronics manufacturers and retailers to “end the use” of halogenated flame retardants in plastic casings. In 2019, The European Union passed a ban On all organohalogen flame retardants in electronics casings which became effective in 2021. Recently, the state of New York banned them with effect from December 1, 2024. And last November, the Washington State Department of Ecology issued a report to the legislature, making a statewide recommendation. The state’s Safer Products for Washington law prohibits OFR in electronic casings.

Other retailers and brands should join Best Buy in addressing toxic flame retardant chemicals

Best Buy is not alone in its responsibility to protect consumers, communities and workers from exposure to toxic flame retardants up and down the global electronics supply chain., Other major retailers like Amazon and Walmart, as well as the biggest TV makers like Samsung and Hisense, should move quickly to act on toxic flame retardants in televisions.

In spring 2020, we sent letters to a dozen major television brands, such as Hisense, LG, Samsung, and Sony, urging them to ban toxic flame retardant chemicals in televisions. See, for example, our letter to Samsung.

And some have given meaningful feedback. Sony shared that all Sony television enclosures that are currently manufactured, sold or distributed within North America do not contain intentionally added OFRs. LG said it is also working to phase out the OFR for Europe starting in 2021 and is starting to consider a phase-out for the US.

Best Buy has now set a high bar not only by eliminating OFRs but also by making sure replacements are secure. Meanwhile, others like Samsung and Hisense have still not responded to our call for action. Will they join Best Buy in creating safer, safer televisions free of harmful flame retardants?

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