Counting the chemical cost of dollar-store products
A new report from Canada has found that products from popular dollar stores may contain hidden harmful chemicals, including in products aimed at children. Chemicals such as bisphenols, phthalates and PFAS were found in plastic toys, popcorn bags, food cans and till receipts.
The report by advocacy organisation Environmental Defence analysed a variety of products at popular ‘dollar stores’ in Canada to investigate the presence of harmful chemicals. They found phthalates in numerous children’s toys including hair clips, dolls, pony toys and funny teeth. Cash register receipts tested were all found to contain bisphenol-S and 60% of food cans contained bisphenol-A
PFAS was found in 100% of microwave popcorn bags tested. Chemicals in food packaging may migrate into the food that we eat, which can then be a source of exposure to harmful chemicals. Studies have also found PFAS in the blood serum of people in Canada
These chemicals have all been linked to human health issues. Bisphenol A is a known endocrine disruptor, which means it can disrupt the body’s sensitive hormone system. It has been linked to the development of certain cancers, heart disease, and reproductive issues. Similar concerns are also being raised about other bisphenols including bisphenol S.
Some phthalates are classified as endocrine disruptors or toxic for reproduction, and there is also growing concern that they may impair children’s brain development. PFAS are concerning due to their ability to persist in the environment for decades. The most studied PFAS chemicals have been linked to negative impacts on human health, including interfering with our hormonal and reproductive systems and promoting the development of some cancers.
As we are all begin to feel the pinch of the soaring cost of living, low-cost retailers are inevitably becoming a more popular option. It is concerning to see that children’s toys and food sold as affordable options may contain or be contaminated with harmful chemicals.
Other studies in Europe have also found that children’s toys may contain dangerous chemicals.
CHEM Trust is calling on the UK government and EU authorities to enact strong and robust legislation to protect their citizens from harmful chemicals by ensuring their phase out from consumer products by 2030.