A report by HealthyStuff, in collaboration with the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, revealed important facts about toxic chemicals in Dollar store products.
This report, titled A Day Late and a Dollar Short: Discount Retailers are Falling Behind on Safer Chemical, shows the testing results for 164 dollar store products like various household items, toys, jewelry, and school supplies, which indicate that more than 81% (133 of 164) contained at least one hazardous chemical above levels of concern.
Due to these disturbing findings, this campaign also wrote a letter to the CEO’s of the 4 biggest Dollar store chains — including Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General, and 99 Cents Only.
The goal was to urge them to stop selling such dangerous products to people who already live in bad conditions and polluted areas. These discount chains have sales totaling over $36 billion.
Jose T. Bravo, the National Coordinator for the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, said:
“People struggling to make ends meet are confined to shopping at the Dollar stores. 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.”
Also, Jeff Gearhart, HealthyStuff Research Director, added:
“We’ve tested 1,000’s of products from dozens of retailers over the last ten years. And on average the dollar store products are some of the poorest performings from a chemical hazard perspective. I am particularly concerned about the comparatively high percentage of products containing hazardous plasticizers. ”
Research has found the following dangerous chemicals in Dollar store products:
- polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC or vinyl), which leads to asthma, and lung problems;
- phthalates, which causes cancer, diabetes, birth defects, reduced fertility, learning disabilities, and other health issues;
- toxic metals like lead, which causes severe health issues, especially in children, harms brain development, causes learning disabilities, and lowers IQ.
This report also found that:
- 32% of a subset of vinyl products tested for phthalates (12 of 38) had phthalates in amounts way above the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) limit for children’s products.
- 38% of the products tested (63 of 164) contained the toxic plastic PVC (vinyl);
- 49% of products tested (80 of 164) contained two or more hazardous chemicals above levels of concern;
Furthermore, 40% of sales at Dollar stores go toward food products, which is a rather disturbing fact, as such foods are not tested, are low in nutrients, and their packaging is another potential source of toxic chemicals including bisphenol-A (BPA), which is a synthetic hormone shown to cause obesity, breast and others cancers, heart disease, reproductive problems, and early puberty.
Yet, this made multiple mainstream retail and manufacturing brands to respond to consumer demand for safer products with publicly-available corporate policies.
If these Dollar store chains reject to offer a more customer-friendly attitude and continue exposing their customers to risk, the fate of the corporation is definitely not bright.
This Campaign for Healthier Solutions demands a comprehensive set of reforms, including the removal of the children’s products which contain regulated phthalates and lead from store shelves; and adoption of comprehensive corporate chemical management policies to identify, disclose, and remove dangerous chemicals from their supply chains and from all products in the store.
Moreover, they demand that discount retailers are urged to comply with all relevant laws and regulation by the local, state, and federal governments.
They should adopt public policies that require manufacturers and retailers to disclose hazardous chemicals in products, research alternatives and eliminate hazardous chemicals when there are safer alternatives.
Eventually, they also maintain that families and communities should also demand safer products and joint their efforts in the fight against toxic products.
Source: preventdisease.com ; www.healthy-food-house.com