HOUSTON, Dec. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, hundreds of health experts, doctors, researchers and activists held demonstrations and store manager meetings at over 65 Dollar Tree store locations in 26 states across America during the busy holiday shopping season. Coordinated by the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, these dollar store shoppers worked to educate other customers and raise awareness about toxic chemicals found in numerous products sold at one of the nation's largest dollar store chains. Despite the scale of this national demonstration, protest organizers noted that Dollar Tree corporate officials have so far failed to respond to the campaign in any formal way.
Recent independent laboratory testing (summary report) found that some products purchased from Dollar Tree, one of the nation's largest discount retailers, contained toxic chemicals at levels which may harm customers – and especially children. Notable chemicals of concern detected in Dollar Tree products included: phthalates, linked to birth defects, reduced fertility, cancer, learning disabilities, diabetes, and other health issues; polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC or vinyl), which has been linked to asthma and other lung diseases; and heavy metals such as lead, which harms brain development leading to learning and developmental disabilities, reduced IQ, and other serious health impacts – especially in children. Certain products were found to contain one or more of these hazardous chemicals at levels exceeding protective guidelines set by governments, other companies, or third party accreditors.
"We don't want Dollar Tree's dangerous deals or toxic toys," said Jose Bravo, with The Campaign for Healthier Solutions. He continued: "Right now, people are gathering outside more than 60 of your stores across the nation urging you to become a corporate leader, and to ensure your products aren't making us sick. Your customers deserve your leadership on safer products instead of the empty rhetoric we found in your recent sustainability report."
Although scores of demonstrations and manager meetings were held across the nation, the focus event was held in Baytown, TX, where dozens of Lee College Students, shoppers, and community organizers marched to three Dollar Stores. Along the way, they worked to educate customers, sang 'nontoxic holiday carols', and met with store managers. Baytown is also an environmental justice community facing heavy exposure toxic chemicals in their air, where residents work and in the products they purchase. Deyadira Trevino, and organizer with Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.) said, "Dollar Tree: we've come here today to say you can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Our families face high rates of cancer and other health issues because of all the overlapping exposures we face daily, but if you can take steps toward healthier products you'll gain customers and help create a less toxic world for millions of Americans."
Although some discount retailers (such as Target and Walmart) have taken specific, more aggressive actions to remove harmful products from their shelves, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar (owned by Dollar Tree) have not adopted...
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Full product testing results and methodology can be found here: http://www.ecocenter.org/healthy-stuff/reports/dollar-store-report
Photos for use with articles are available upon request.
The Campaign for Healthier Solutions is a diverse coalition of over 100 environmental justice, medical, public health, community, and women's organizations working with discount retailers toward responsible hazardous chemical policies and better corporate citizenship.
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SOURCE Campaign for Healthier Solutions