Warning: 81% of Dollar Store Products Contain Toxic Chemicals
The Campaign for Healthier Solutions in collaboration with HealthyStuff reported that some of the products in Dollar stores contained toxic chemicals. “A Day Late and a Dollar Short: Discount Retailers Are Falling Behind on Safer Chemicals” has reported the testing of 164 products including jewelry, toys, school supplies and many other products.
The results have found that 133 of them have at least one dangerous chemical.
The campaign contacted the CEO’s of Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, 99 Cents and Dollar General, demanding them to stop selling these dangerous products because people already live in polluted areas. They should promote policies that protect both their business and customers. These chains have total sales over $35 billion and operate even more stores than Walmart itself.
Jose T. Bravo, the National Coordinator for the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, states that people who have money only to pay the basic expenses are restricted to shop at the Dollard stores. Along the inadequate care and pollution; people are now affected by these chemicals from the Dollar store products. This must stop.
Jeff Gearhart, the HealthyStuff Research Director, states that over 1,000 products from different retailers have been tested over the last 10 years. He also points out that, the products from Dollar store are some of the poorest performings from a chemical hazard perspective. He is especially concerned about the high percent of products containing dangerous plasticizers.
Some of the chemicals found were:
- Phthalates: lead to reduced fertility, birth defects, diabetes, cancer and other conditions.
- Polyvinyl chloride plastic or vinyl can cause lung problems, asthma, and many other hazards.
- Toxic metals including lead which can lower IQ, harm brain development, cause learning disabilities and other problems, especially in children.
The report was also focused on:
- 49 percent of the tested products contained 2 or more dangerous chemicals.
- 38 percent of the tested products contained PVC or vinyl.
- 32 percent of the vinyl products contained a high amount of phthalates more than it is allowed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Also, 40% of the sales at these stores come from food products. This food contains low nutritious properties, and even the packaging is a potential source of harmful chemicals such as bisphenol-A, a synthetic hormone which can cause reproductive problems, breast cancer, early puberty, heart disease and obesity.
Luckily, there is a movement of manufacturing brands and mainstream retail, including Walmart and Target which focus more on a demand of safer products and safer alternatives to the toxic chemical products. By not addressing the toxic chemicals, Dollar stores not only risk their customers’ health but also their business, such as Mattel which has lost 18percent of its profit after it recalled toys full with lead paint or Sigg USA, another company which bankrupted as a result of BPA in the water bottles.
The particular campaign requires a set of reforms which will make Discount retailers eliminate those children’s products from the shelves which contain lead and phthalates and implement chemical management policies to locate and remove dangerous chemicals from the stores.
State, Local and Federal Governments guarantee that discount retailers follow the regulations and laws and implement the public policies including Washington’s Children Safe Products Act and Maine’s Kid-Safe Products Law, which require retailers and manufacturers to reveal and remove dangerous chemicals in products.
Families and Communities informed these particular store chains that they look for safe products and they will join the local and national movements promoting safer products.