The Campaign for Healthier Solutions and Healthy Stuff released a joint report about the presence of toxic chemicals in products sold throughout Dollar stores. The report is comprised of testing results for 164 dollar store products, including jewelry, toys, school supplies, and different household items and it was discovered that more than 81 percent of them had at least once dangerous chemical.
The campaign also sent a letter to the CEOs of the 4 largest Dollar Store chains, i.e. Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and 99 Cents Only asking them to cease the sale of products which contain bad chemicals to communities of color and families with low incomes who already have to live in polluted areas and to start adhering to policies which will be able to protect their businesses and the customers too.
Dangerous Chemicals Are all Around Us
The Healthy Stuff director points out that they have tested thousands of products from dozens of retailers in the last ten years and averagely speaking, the products from the Dollar stores are the most concerning ones in terms of being a chemical hazard and a lot of the products were filled with a high amount of harmful plasticizers.
A List of the Chemicals Found in Dollar Store Products
- Phthalates- they have been associated with low fertility, cancer, birth defects, diabetes, learning disabilities
- Plastic, PVC or vinyl- they have been linked to asthma and other lung problems
- Lead- has a negative impact on brain development, can lead to learning disabilities, and reduce the IQ, especially in children
Other Crucial Findings in the Report
- 38 percent of the products contained PVC
- 49 percent of the products had two or more dangerous chemicals
- 32 percent of vinyl products had higher levels of phthalates than the CPSC limit for children’s products
Is Change Going to Happen?
As seen on Prevent Disease, there has been going on a movement by mainstream retail and manufacturing brands, including Walmart and Target, to address the demand of consumers for safer products through transparent corporate policies that will identify and replace toxic chemicals with safer options.
By not dealing with the presence of toxic chemicals, the Dollar chains are putting customers at risk and are also increasing the chance for their businesses to have the fate of companies such as Mattel which lost 18 percent of its value after a toy recall due to presence of lead pain and Sigg USA which went bankrupt due to failing to disclose the toxic BPA in their water bottles.