Click here to visit the main Campaign for Healthier Solutions website,
-hosted by the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA)-
with research reports, background materials, media links, and action alerts.
The Campaign for Healthier Solutions (CHS) and its ongoing efforts to push for safer, non-toxic products in dollar stores have been covered by the Guardian, National Geographic, Salon Magazine/Grist, Bloomberg Law, The San Diego Tribune, E&E News, and more.
CHS was created by Coming Clean and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform and is supported by over 140 community, health, mainstream green, religious, farmworker, and environmental justice organizations across the country. CHS encourages dollar store chains to protect their customers and the communities in which they operate — and grow their businesses — by implementing corporate chemical policies to identify and phase out harmful chemicals in the products they sell, and stock locally and sustainably-grown, healthy foods. The campaign is led by grassroots organizations in affected communities and their allies, and engages diverse partners to support interconnected strategies with a strong environmental justice focus and leadership.
All families deserve safe and healthy products, and all communities deserve business partners that will prioritize the health of their customers.
Unfortunately, millions of American families live in intentionally food-deprived areas without access to fresh fruits and vegetables—forcing them to rely on dollar stores for much of their food and household items. We tested dollar store products and found that many contain toxic chemicals at alarming levels. Sadly, the nation's largest dollar store chains have done very little to protect our families and their workers.
People of color and low-income communities are often already over-exposed to toxic chemicals and unhealthy foods, and that’s why the Campaign for Healthier Solutions is working to get toxic chemicals out of dollar stores. Our campaign is focused on environmental and economic justice, led by grassroots community activists, and we’re fighting to make sure dollar stores help solve our problems—instead of adding to them.
We’ve already won partial commitments from some of the nation’s largest dollar stores, but there’s still lots of work to do to get them caught up to other major retailers. Please support our work for a more just and nontoxic future.
Stay tuned for campaign events and yearly actions you can join to get involved!
Testing for Toxic Chemicals in Dollar Store Products
A 2022 product screening report released by the Campaign for Healthier Solutions and Ecology Center found that over 50% of items purchased at major dollar stores in 2021 contained chemicals of concern. Notably, many of these items included toys and other products marketed to children that were found to contain lead, PVC and phthalates.
2021: Discount retailers won the "most improved" retail sector overall- but not everyone made progress.
Lowering the Levels: A Healthy Baby Food Initiative
Download: What's in My Baby's Food? Our joint report with Healthy Babies Bright Futures and other partners on packaged baby food found that 95% of tested products contained at least 1 heavy metal that are linked to lower IQs.
BPA: Buyers Beware : Toxic BPA and regrettable substitutes found in the linings of canned food.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a toxic, endocrine-disrupting chemical that negatively impacts our hormonal systems, contributing to a host of harmful health effects. Hundreds of scientific studies have linked extremely small amounts of BPA, measured in parts per billion and even parts per trillion, to an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, infertility, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma, and behavioral changes including attention deficit disorder. In this report, canned food from national food brands was collected in 19 states for testing. 67 percent of the cans tested (129 out of 192) contained BPA-based epoxy in the body and/or the lid.
Download the report. In 2015, we partnered with Ecology Center to test 164 products purchased at the four largest dollar store chains (Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only) in six states. 81% of the products tested (133 of 164) contained at least one hazardous chemical above levels of concern, including lead and other hazardous metals, phthalates, and polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC or vinyl). Low-income communities and communities of color rely on dollar stores for staples, and are already disproportionately exposed to harmful chemicals. We argue that this places a higher level of responsibility on dollar stores to ensure they are not selling toxic products.