Harmful chemicals in dollar store products reach large percentage of rural U.S. children

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[image credit: treehugger.com]

Dollar Store products often contain harmful chemicals banned by U.S. law

According to a report to be released next week, dollar stores are often the only ones selling essential household goods, including food, in some rural towns and urban neighborhoods.

The new report, prepared by the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, found that the vast majority of dollar store products tested contain toxic chemicals linked to learning disabilities, cancer, diabetes and and other illnesses.

Solution: Independent campaign scans products and alerts the public of violations

Until there is an economic incentive for these retailers to change, people will still be exposed to harmful substances. To test the dollar stores' inventories researchers used hand-held detectors and also sent some products for lab testing.

The Campaign for Healthier Solutions is asking the dollar stores (the four largest chains of dollar stores are Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and 99-Cents Only) to start to phase out the products with the most dangerous levels of chemicals, to help protect community health.

Their list of 'asks' includes:

Immediate removal of children’s products found to contain regulated phthalates and lead from store shelves, and from storage and distribution systems.

Commitment to phase out phthalates, lead, and PVC (vinyl) from all products they sell.
Adoption of comprehensive corporate chemical management policies and removal of hazardous chemicals (starting with the Hazardous 100+) from supply chains and from products, beginning with house brands.

Companies ignore these consumer demands at their own peril – the Campaign said that Sigg suffered brand damage when it was found that its reusable drink canister liners contained BPA and eventually declared bankruptcy in the U.S.

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Category: Environment

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Article by: Dave

Dave Cannon is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. He loves Thai food and takes terrible photographs. You can follow him on Linkedin.
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