HOUSTON – According to representatives with Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, cheap products sold at dollar stores often contain dangerous toxins. At a Wednesday press conference, Deyadira Trevino specifically referenced a bathroom mat and earrings.
“The metals in these earrings contains levels of lead that we wouldn’t want people to be exposed to,” says Trevino.
The group points to Mattel losing almost a quarter of its value after recalling toys with lead paint and Sigg USA going bankrupt for BPA in water bottles, as they are trying to push dollar stores, like Family Dollar in Houston, to stop selling products that they say pose a threat.
“We are concerned with plastic mats, tablecloths, some school supplies like pencil cases…,” says Trevino. “We took a look at four dollar stores here in the area and… there were significant amounts of chlorine, lead, phthalates and we are, also, looking at tin.”
The organization says a new report: A Day Late and a Dollar Short draws a link between toxins from cheap products and things like learning disabilities, cancer and early puberty in girls. And they say mostly low-income families are affected.
“We need to sit down at the table with the owners of these stores so that they can test the products and communicate with the manufacturers,” says Trevino.
Family Dollar was reached for comment, but they never responded back.