WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, a coalition of consumers, concerned parents, health experts, business leaders, and scientists responded to Dollar Tree's recently released 2016 'Sustainability Report' expressing deep concern that the company has made no improvements or adopted new policies to identify and phase out toxic chemicals from products it sells since its last report in 2013. Public health advocates noted that a comparison of the product safety policy sections in Dollar Tree's 2013 and 2016 Sustainability Reports are almost word-for-word identical in language and content, with no new actions or policies listed since 2013. Observers are led to believe that one of the nation's largest retail chains may not have taken any action to further protect the health and safety of its customers and employees now for several years.
Public health and product safety experts responded to Dollar Tree's 2016 Sustainability Report by sending a letter to the CEO of the company, Mr. Bob Sasser, urging the discount retail chain to phase out toxic chemicals found in their products.
Despite assurances offered by Dollar Tree in its report, independent laboratory testing of products purchased at Dollar Tree locations across the nation found some contained potentially dangerous levels of lead, phthalates, and other toxic chemicals. These substances are linked to serious health impacts, including cancer, learning and developmental disabilities, asthma and birth defects. Since these findings were made publicly available, Dollar Tree has failed to respond to the results of this testing or take any public action, policy improvement, or new policy to protect their customers.
"This cut and paste attempt to paper over the harm caused by dangerous chemicals found in many Dollar Tree products is disrespectful to Dollar Tree investors, customers, and the communities which depend on discount retailers for their products, toys, food, and other household goods," said Jose Bravo, Director of the Campaign for Healthier Solutions. He continued, "It's hard to imagine that after three years of improved science on toxic chemicals, improved testing methods to find these chemicals in products, and numerous other major retailers taking action to protect the health and safety of their customers, the only action Dollar Tree has taken is to copy text from its last report three years ago and attempt to pass it off as responsible corporate policy."
Some discount retailers such as Target and Walmart have taken much more aggressive and comprehensive actions to remove harmful chemicals from products they sell in the last few years. At the moment, the nation's largest discount retailers (Dollar Tree and its subsidiary Family Dollar, Dollar General, and California-based 99 Cents Only) lag far behind in addressing hazardous chemicals in their products, which puts the communities they serve, disproportionately people-of-color and low-income communities (A Day Late And A Dollar Short Report, pg. 6), at risk of higher exposure to toxic chemicals.
These product safety and public health experts have renewed their offer, first made in February 2015, to meet with Dollar Tree executives and discuss further, substantive development of the discount retailer's corporate product safety policies. These experts are also offering to meet with Dollar Tree executives to share their support and experience implementing responsible corporate policies on toxic chemicals with other retailers, as well as innovative business strategies that reflect the consumer needs of communities they operate in.
Full product testing results and methodology can be found here: http://www.ecocenter.org/healthy-stuff/reports/dollar-store-report
SOURCE Campaign for Healthier Solutions