In conjunction with the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, HealthyStuff tested 164 products purchased at four major discount retailers—Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only—and found toxic chemicals in a majority of tested products.  

Products were tested for antimony, arsenic, bromine, chlorine, lead, mercury, and tin. A subset of products determined to contain polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC or vinyl) were further tested for the presence of phthalate and non-phthalate plasticizers.

A few products contained excessive lead, including one containg over 6,000 ppm lead. Overall we continue to see fewer product on the market containing lead and cadmium, two potent neurotoxins. Both of these chemicals have been considerable regulatory by the US CPSC.  However the study also revealed that vinyl plastic and toxic phthalates continue to be in widespread use in discount store products.  Several products are highlighted below.

  • 81% of the products (133 out of 164) contained at least one hazardous chemical above levels of concern, and 49% of products contained two or more.
  • 38% of the products tested (63 out of 164) contained vinyl plastic. 
  • Of the vinyl products, 38 were tested for plasticizers. 32% (12 out of 38) of these contained toxic phthalates above the CPSC limits for children’s products.
  • Three products contained a phthalate (DiBP) not regulated by CPSC but found to be toxic by the CPSC. One product contained another unregulated phthalate (DDP), for which data are lacking on carcinogenic, reproductive, and developmental effects.

Product Highlights:

Published on March 30, 2017

Sample Listing

Mini Discs
low
Minnie Mouse Backpack
high
Monster High Tattoos
low
My Chic Collection Lovely Patsy Doll
high
Paddleball
high
Pencil Case - Jake
high
Pencil Pouch
high
Pencil Pouch - Sofia the First
high
Pencil Pouch 3 Rings
high
Phone Wristlet
high
Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet
high
Pink Spiked Ball
Placemat
high
Plastic Spoons
low
Plastic Tablecover
medium
Polly Fashion Doll
high
Princess 3 Brush, Comb & Mirror Set
low
Princess Rings
low
Princess Rings 2
low
Princess Set
low
Princess Wand
high
Reusable Document Envelope
low
Reusable Gloves
high
Reusable Water Bottle
medium
Round Plastic Table Cover
high
Self-Adhesive Vinyl Floor Tiles
high
Shower Curtain
low
Shower Curtain - Polka Dots
low
Silly Straws
high
Silver Cross Necklace
medium
Skull Hand Jewelery
high
Slide Pencil Case
low
Slider Pencil Case - Blue
low
Snap Hand
low
Sofia the First Magical Light Up Necklace Activity
low
Spirit Family Window Decals
high
Stick-On Earrings & Rings Set
high
Sticky Back Foam Sheets
high
Stone Stretch Bracelet
medium
Stretch Ring
low
Sweet Glitz Beauty Make Up Palette
medium
Table Tennis
none
Tablecloth - Blue
medium
Tablecloth - Red and Green
low
Teether Beads
low
Texting Necklace
high
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Coin Bank
low
Tiaras
low
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
high
Treat Bags
medium
Tub Mat
high
Tween Fun Glow
high
Tween Fun Glow - 2
high
Ultimate Spider Man Dog Tags
high
Ultimate Spider-Man 3 Boys' Briefs
low
USB Charging Cable
high
Vanillaroma
low
Vinyl Floor Runner
high
Watering Can
none
Wedding Day
low
Window Clings
high
Window Clings - Decoration Theme
high
Wireless Gear
high
Zyrofoam
medium

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IMPORTANT NOTE: HealthyStuff.org ratings do not provide a measure of health risk or chemical exposure associated with any individual product, or any individual element or related chemical.