Deidre Nelms; Coming Clean, Inc.; email@example.com, (802) 251-0203 ext. 711.
Dollar General, the largest discount retail store in the United States, took an important step to improve product safety this week by signing onto the Chemical Footprint Project, a benchmarking metric that helps companies quantify the total mass of chemicals of concern in their products, and understand opportunities for safer chemicals in their supply chains.
“We commend Dollar General for taking a hard look at its chemical footprint,” said José Bravo, National Coordinator of the Campaign for Healthier Solutions. “But we won’t stop organizing until the company adopts a robust chemical policy and phases out all chemicals of concern from its products.”
A product testing report released last year by the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, Ecology Center and Environmental Defence Canada found that several products previously purchased at Dollar General contained chemicals of concern, including PVC in a children’s toy, PFAS and BPA in non-stick cookware, and PVC in food can linings.
Shortly after this report was released, Dollar General added 11 more chemicals to its Restricted Substance List (RSL), committing to remove the following added chemicals from its private-label products by 2023: 1-bromopropane; asbestos; 1,4-dioxane; Cyclic Aliphatic Bromides Cluster of flame retardants (HBCD); octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4); lead and its compounds; cadmium and its compounds; bisphenol A (BPA); diethyl phthalate (DEP); dibutyl phthalate (DBP); and tetrachloroethylene (TCE).
Unlike its discount retail competitor Dollar Tree Stores Inc., which also owns Family Dollar Stores, Dollar General has not yet committed to phasing out polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from any of its private-label products.
Signatories of the Chemical Footprint Project conduct an annual survey put out by Clean Production Action, to measure their chemicals management and hazard reduction programs against best practice, and also agree to encourage companies in their sphere of influence to participate in the project.
Dollar Tree Stores Inc and Family Dollar Stores joined the Chemical Footprint Project in 2019, but has thus far neglected to publicly disclose its answers to the CFP Survey.
“We encourage Dollar General to become a disclosure leader by making its chemical footprint data fully public,” said Bravo.
The Campaign for Healthier Solutions is a project of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA) and Coming Clean, that includes environmental justice, public health and community organizations. Launched in 2015, CHS works with discount retailers to adopt responsible hazardous chemical policies. Dollar stores have been found to target communities of color and low-income communities. And these communities are disproportionately exposed to toxic chemicals; one half of major US dollar stores are located within three miles of a facility that uses or stores hazardous chemicals, according to the joint report “Life at the Fenceline.” Learn more at www.nontoxicdollarstores.org and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.