6 Toxic Items You Should Never Buy at Dollar Stores


You may want to check your shopping list twice from now on before you head out the door to shop at your favorite neighborhood dollar store. Recent testing by the consumer group, Healthy Stuff, found many dollar store items contain hazardous chemicals associated with cancer, diabetes, learning problems, birth defects, lower IQ, thyroid and kidney disease and asthma.

Over 100 hundred items were purchased at Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only Stores in six U.S. states. Each product was tested for dangerous chemicals such as antimony, arsenic, bromine, chlorine, lead, mercury, and tin.

In addition, products that were found to contain polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC or vinyl) were further tested for the presence of phthalate and non-phthalate plasticizers.

Test Results 


81% of the products tested, or 133 out of the 164, contained at least one toxic chemical at levels above concern.

32% of vinyl products tested (12 of 38) contained levels of phthalates above the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) limit for children’s products.

38% of the products tested (63 of 164) contained the toxic plastic PVC (vinyl).

These are just 6 toxic items you should never buy at dollar stores due to the levels of toxins they contain.


1. Extension Cords. Tests showed the green insulation in these cords contain high levels of chlorine.

2. Silly Straws.  Although cute, these plastic straws contain high levels of DEHP and Tin.

3. Yellow Rubber Ducky Bath Toys.  Again cute. Again, high levels of Chlorine were found in the yellow plastic used to make these rubber toys.

4. Vinyl Floor Coverings. These products tested high in Phthalates and Chlorine.

5. Earrings.  The tests showed extremely high levels of lead in some of the earrings sold at dollar stores.

6. Bathtub Appliques. These are meant to prevent slipping in bathtubs, however some of these items tested showed very high levels of chlorine.

Learn more about other dollar store products tested at healthystuff.org

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