Home Depot to phase out products containing chemical linked to cancer and serious health issues

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — One of the largest hardware stores in the nation has announced it will no longer carry carpets and rugs treated with Scotchgard. 

Home Depot officials say they're phasing out carpeting products treated with Scotchgard, a 3M product which contains PFAS.

"Beginning Dec. 31, we will no longer accept carpets or rugs with these chemicals from vendors," said Margaret Smith, a representative from Home Depot. 

PFAS have been detected in water sources surrounding military bases nationwide.

"This is huge because carpets have been contaminated with these chemicals for decades, starting back in the eighties," Tasha Stoiber, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group explained. "This was supposed to be the answer to all of your stain problems, with the Scotchgard treated carpet, but now they understand just how bad this is for you." 

PFAS have been linked to certain cancers, fertility issues, thyroid disease and ulcerative colitis. Stoiber says carpets and rugs are the biggest source of contact with PFAS for children, who spend a lot of time close to the ground.

She is hoping this is just the first company to eliminate PFAS in carpets and rugs, and that other retailers will follow suit. 

Giant supermarket officials also announced that they will be removing PFAS packaging and products from shelves beginning in 2020.