As part of “The Campaign for Healthier Solutions“, a chemical test was performed on 165 common products found in the four biggest American discount Dollar stores: Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only. The results are very alarming.
Researchers found that over 80% of the Dollar store products they tested contained a concerning amount of a dangerous chemical, and almost 50% of the products that were tested contained dangerous levels of multiple harmful chemicals! The main culprits are phthalates, polyvinyl chloride plastic (a.k.a. PVC), lead, and bisphenol-A(a.k.a. BPA).
Phthalates are a type of man-made chemical plasticizers. They can be used in many kinds of products, including toys, flooring, and even lotions and perfumes. Scientific research has revealed the many threats they pose to families:
- Phthalates have been linked to increased liver size and tumors
- They affect physical development during puberty
- They reduce fertility
- Phthalates are associated with toxins found in adult women’s ovaries
- They can cause premature deliveries and birth defects
- Phthalates lead to children’s learning disabilities, especially ADHD in boys and decreased alertness in girls
POLYVINYL CHLORIDE PLASTIC (PVC)
PVC is a dangerous plastic often mixed with other hazardous chemicals, including phthalates, for a variety of uses. This plastic can be easily introduced into your home, because it is widely used in Dollar store products such as:
- Reusable Drinking Straws
- Pencil Cases
- Children’s Jewelry
Many studies have pointed out the long-term health effects on employees of PVC plants. Exposure to PVC has been linked to asthma, airway inflammation, and nasal congestion. PVC has also been connected to cases of lung cancer, liver cancer, and skin cancer, for people exposed to the chemical over time.
There is no” safe” amount of exposure to lead, which makes it incredibly shocking to find that lead was found in many popular Dollar store products. Dollar store products like toys and dishes are part of the national problem of childhood lead exposure.
Lead is proven to harm brain development, lead to behavioral problems, and has other serious health risks. While children are most vulnerable to lead poisoning, it’s also associated with high blood pressure and kidney damage in adults.
It’s estimated that lead is the cause of 143,000 deaths every year. Meanwhile, there are non-toxic lead alternatives that could be used in the paints and batteries of Dollar store products.
Despite the recent regulation of BPA , (a man-made hormone which has been connected to breast cancer, diabetes, and heart disease), it can still make its way into your home, thanks to big brand Dollar stores.
Dollar store food and beverage containers are often sold with bisphenol-A (BPA) lining the inside of packaging. One study showed that American children show a significantly higher concentration of BPA than adolescents and adults.
These big corporations are taking short-cuts with the health of American families. It’s better to buy quality products from reputable companies. While they might be more expensive, they will last longer, and they won’t cost you or your children a long and healthy life.
There are many ways you can cut down using plastic in your home and take control of what your body is being exposed to.