Stores Filled with Toxic Products
HealthyStuff, a project of the Michigan-based Ecology Center, in collaboration with the Campaign for Healthier Solutions (CHS), has released a report, A Day Late and a Dollar Short: Discount Retailers are Falling Behind on Safer Chemicals, about toxic chemicals found in dollar store products. It includes test results for 164 dollar store products such as toys, jewelry, school supplies and household items and found that 81 percent contained at least one hazardous chemical above a level that generates concern.
The campaign sent a letter to the CEOs of the four largest dollar store chains, including Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and 99 Cents Only, urging them to stop the sale of these unsafe products, especially to communities of low-income and ethnic families that already live in more polluted areas and food deserts, and adopt policies that will instead protect both customers and their own businesses. Combined, these discount chains have annual sales totaling more than $36 billion and operate more stores nationally than Walmart.
The CHS is asking for a comprehensive set of reforms; communities need to let dollar store chains know that they want safer products and join local and national efforts advocating for nontoxic products.