Many dollar store products reportedly contain lead, other hazardous chemicals

A customer carries out her purchases from a Family Dollar store. (AP photo)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A new report from an environmental watchdog group found that 81 percent of dollar store products tested contained levels of hazardous chemicals that can be linked to birth defects, learning disabilities and cancer.

The products that were tested by the group included toys, jewelry, school supplies and other household items.

The Campaign for Healthier Solutions has sent letters to the CEOs of Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and 99 Cents Only stores "urging them to stop the sale of products with hazardous chemicals."

ABC 7 News asked all four store chains involved in this study for a response, but only two replied. Below are their statements.

From Family Dollar: "We are committed to providing our customers with quality products at great values. More than 70 percent of our sales are national brand items from leading manufacturers, including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Unilever, SC Johnson, Clorox, Colgate Palmolive and PepsiCo. We also offer quality merchandise under our own private brands. We monitor and manage all private brand and direct import products through our Quality and Compliance Program to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and our corporate quality standards. Our full quality and compliance program, including our testing requirements, can be found on our website."

From Dollar General: "The allegations raised by the Campaign for Healthier Solutions are in direct conflict with Dollar General’s well-established standards and practices. Dollar General strives to provide safe, quality products, which meet or exceed federal and state safety guidelines, as well as our own standards and our customers’ expectations.To that end, Dollar General uses accredited, third-party testing organizations that follow regulated guidelines and protocols to test all products that the company directly imports. This testing is designed to ensure imported products sold at Dollar General comply with all federal and state product safety standards. Additionally, all Dollar General suppliers, both foreign and domestic, are required to certify that the products they provide to Dollar General are properly tested to ensure compliance with state and federal product safety standards. Customers can shop Dollar General stores with confidence, knowing the company firmly stands behind its products."

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