Dollar store deals: Study shows many bargain items may be hazardous to your health

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Dollar stores can be great places to find deals on a variety of household products. The goods on their shelves are cheap, so you get what you pay for.

The Campaign for Healthier Solutions and Healthy Stuff tested 164 products purchased at four major discount retailers in six states:Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and 99 Cents Only.  

In response the study's release, Good Housekeeping rounded up the data and published a list of "The 10 most toxic items at dollar stores," saying you're better off buying them elsewhere:

  1. Electronic Accessories
  2. Plastic Kitchen Utensils
  3. Flannel-Backed Table Covers
  4. Metallic Christmas Garlands
  5. Silly Straws
  6. Vinyl Floor Coverings
  7. Holiday Light Strings
  8. Metal Children's Jewelry
  9. Metallic Beads
  10. Window Clings and Removable Wall Stickers

The study tested for a variety of chemicals, which in excessive amounts can be harmful to your health. The Good Housekeeping article said the compounds are "associated with cancer, obesity, diabetes, asthma, thyroid and kidney diseases, learning problems, lower IQ, birth defects and early puberty." 

  • antimony
  • arsenic
  • bromine
  • chlorine
  • lead
  • mercury
  • tin

According to the report, the tests founds fewer products containing lead and cadmium, two potent neurotoxins. But, "the study also revealed that vinyl plastic and toxic phthalates continue to be in widespread use in discount store products."  

  • 81% of the products contained at least one hazardous chemical above levels of concern
  • 49% of products contained two or more
  • 38% of the products tested contained vinyl plastic
  • 3 products contained a phthalate (DiBP) found to be toxic by the CPSC

MORE: Read the full report

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