Dollar Store Items Found to Be Riddled with Toxins

dollar store


Photo by Tupungato / Shutterstock

A February report found that the majority of the 164 products researchers tested from Family Dollar, Dollar General, the Dollar Tree, and 99 Cents Only contained at least one hazardous chemical linked to serious health impacts.

Love bargains? You’re right to think twice about seeking deals at your local discount retailer. A February report from the Campaign for Healthier Solutions and HealthyStuff.org found that products from Dollar General, the Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only may be hazardous to your health.

The report revealed the results of toxicity tests the two organizations had conducted on 164 products from the above four major discount retailers. The stores were located in six states, and the products tested ranged from children’s toys and beaded necklaces to kitchen utensils and holiday lights.

“Products were tested for antimony, arsenic, bromine, chlorine, lead, mercury, and tin,” said the report. “A subset of products determined to contain polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC or vinyl) were further tested for the presence of phthalate and non-phthalate plasticizers.”

Researchers found a full 81 percent (133 out of 164) of the products contained at least one hazardous chemical of concern. Nearly half (49 percent) contained two or more toxic chemicals.

For example, a table cover and a set of children’s jewelry contained excessive lead, a potent neurotoxicant. A Disney bathtub fingerpaint set contained high levels of chlorine and medium levels of antimony and tin. All three are suspected neuro-, cardiovascular-, and respiratory toxicants.

“People struggling to make ends meet are confined to shopping at the Dollar stores,” said José T. Bravo, national coordinator for the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, in a statement. “We are already disproportionately affected by pollution and lack of adequate medical care, and now we know we’re filling our homes and our bodies with chemicals released from dollar-store products. This needs to stop.”

Flashdance and The L Word star Jennifer Beals, who said her once low-income family used to shop at dollar stores when she was a child, has started a Change.org petition calling on the discount retailers to stop selling products containing
hazardous chemicals.

View the study here »

Sign the petition here »


 

Fall 2015.

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From Green American Magazine Issue