LOS ANGELES, April 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As shoppers rush to dollar stores for last-minute Easter Holiday supplies, toys, and candy, allied organizations with the environmental justice group, Campaign for Healthier Solutions, held their own 'Toxic Easter Egg Activity' outside the headquarters of LA-based dollar store chain, 99 Cents Only Stores. Children searched for products purchased from 99 Cents Only Stores that didn't contain toxic chemicals—but had no way to know if each product was safe because the chain has no public toxic chemical policies or protections for customers and their children. Executives from 99 Cents Only Stores agreed to meet with the campaign and discuss customer's concerns but did not commit to any action to protect them from toxic chemicals.
"This Easter, children should be looking for toys and treats—not looking out for toxic chemicals linked to learning and developmental disabilities," said Jose Bravo, National Coordinator of the Campaign for Healthier Solutions. "From children's toys to basic food staples, it seems that every time we test products purchased from 99 Cents Only Stores we find toxic chemicals at levels which might impact our children; when will they do something about this problem?"
In the past, independent laboratory testing of products purchased at 99 Cents Only Stores discovered items such as costume jewelry and toy cars containing high levels of heavy metals, which are linked to learning and developmental disabilities, food staples like microwave popcorn containing per/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and bisphenol-A (BPA) in canned food. Despite these findings, the dollar store chain has yet to announce any public chemicals management policies, as the campaign is requesting.
"Every child deserves safe and healthy food, and every community deserves business partners who prioritize our health over company profits," said Janet Valenzuela, a local resident with East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice. "We want 99 Cents Only Stores to be part of our community but, first, we need them to take our health seriously and do something about the toxic chemicals they're bringing into our neighborhoods and, eventually, into our bodies."
SOURCE Campaign for Healthier Solutions