5 Most Toxic Items At The Dollar Store

Beach toys

Dollar store deals might look like a bargain from the outside: everything usually is a dollar or at least close to it. But looking at the harmful product ingredients it can turn out to be not a bargain after all.

Recent testing of dollar store products found that nearly 81% contained one or more hazardous chemicals. The tests, conducted by a third party consumer testing group, found chemicals associated with cancer, obesity, diabetes, asthma, thyroid and kidney diseases, learning problems, lower IQ, birth defects and early puberty. Here are five items you should think about buying from elsewhere.

1. Kitchen Dollar Store Items

The black solid color spoons, spatulas and forks may contain high levels of bromine, a component in flame retardants or BFRs. Though these are added to make the products resistant to fire, the have been linked to cancer, birth defects and impaired brain development. That ingredient has effectively been phased out in the U.S. but they are still available in these cheap, dollar store utensils.

What To Do: Use stainless steel or real wood utensils.

2. Plastic Silly Straws

Silly straws found in the dollar store have tested high for level of DEHP used in consumer products. Some phthalates interfere with the body’s endocrine system, and studies have linked them to asthma and allergies, prostate and testicular cancer and type 2 diabetes.

What To Do: The official brand of “Silly Straws” and non-plastic straws (look for recycled cardboard) are BPA and PVC free.

3. Electronic Accessories

Extension cords, USB charging cords and cell phone charges are something we all need, but maybe not from the dollar store. Those from your local dollar store tested high in chlorine, a sign that the items were made with a plastic called polyvinyl chloride or PVC.

PVC is made from vinyl chloride, a cancer-causing chemical that has harmed workers and contaminated communities close to the factories.

What To Do: Go to your local electronic or battery store for a higher quality instead.