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

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