Confessions of dollar store obsessions are scattered throughout the internet, complete with photo albums to prove it. The cost. The treasures. The ability to buy multiples without feeling guilty. You like it. We like it.
Some of the things you can find in there for a buck are great quality. But then, love for the dollar store sometimes has to be tempered with a stark reality: not everything that glitters in there is a gold-plated treasure.
Some items contain toxic materials that can impact your health and the health of your family. That includes Fido and Ms. Kitty. A study conducted by Healthy Stuff tested products to determine if they contained chemicals like lead, mercury, chlorine, arsenic, and antimony. Additional products were tested to see if they contained phthalates or other plasticizers.
Stores included in the study were Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General, and 99 Cents Only, where products were purchased to be tested. Chemicals most commonly found in the items listed below include antimony, which can cause respiratory problems, gastrointestinal issues, and skin rashes.
Chlorine was another common offender, as items with high levels of chlorine are likely to be made from PVC plastic. PVC is highly toxic and labeled as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Another baddie is phthalates, linked to endocrine disruption, reproductive and lung problems, and developmental delays.
Bromine exposure can cause issues with cancer, thyroid, memory, brain development, and fetal defects. Chromium, also found in these products, is a carcinogen.
Young children are at a high risk as they often put objects into their mouths. Other toxins can come in contact with your skin or respiratory system, exposing you to danger. Here are the items you want to watch out for at discount stores:
Plastic Cooking Utensils
Found with levels of bromine in the high range.
Watch out for the high amounts of phthalates and chlorine, commonly used by kids to sip drinks.
Plastic toys and bath appliques contained chromium and phthalates.
Non-stick shelf liners contain large levels of antimony, chlorine, and phthalates.
Flannel Back Table Covers
Discovered to contain large amounts of lead, antimony.
Most types, including the zip-closure and box-shaped pencil holders, contained high levels of chlorine and phthalates.
Chlorine (PVC) was consistently found in window clings and stickers. Children come into contact with these at home and school, but until they’re phased out, avoid purchasing them.
Tub & Floor Mats
Plastic/vinyl mats used in entryways and bathrooms were found to have large amounts of phthalates.
Products like cables, extension cords, and USB chargers contained high amounts of phthalates, chlorine, cadmium, antimony, and tin.
Multiple sets of jewelry for kids, teens, and adults tested positive for chlorine, cadmium, chromium, tin, and lead. Avoid buying fashion or toy jewelry from these discount stores.
There are more items that were ranked high on the chemical offender list including holiday lights and hair accessories. Many of the goods have levels of chemicals so high that they violate state law.
Consumers can do their due diligence by reading the label to see if a product is free of harmful chemicals or simply avoid them altogether.
Were you aware of the chemical toxins in these products? Do you shop regularly at discount dollar stores? What items do you try to avoid?