If you’re looking for a great deal, you can find it at your local dollar store. Even those earning a good salary aren’t shy about visiting a discount store for savings. Roughly 68% of those earning $75,000 or more purchase items from retailers such as Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. However, in some cases you’re better off leaving these finds on the shelves. Some dollar-store items can be found for an even lower price at big-box stores, while other items are just downright dangerous.
A recent national dollar-store report conducted by Campaign for Healthier Solutions and HealthyStuff.org found that many products sold at the four major discount retailers (Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only) sold products that could pose potential health risks. Here are six dollar-store items that could cause you to miss out on savings, be harmful to your health, or both.
1. Plastic household items
If you rely heavily on plastic household items such as bathtub mats, place mats, and table cloths, you may want to make your purchases elsewhere. The study found that harmful vinyl plastic (also called polyvinyl chloride plastic, PVC, or vinyl) and toxic phthalates were discovered in many discount store products. Vinyl chloride, which is the chemical used to manufacture PVC, has been found to be a human carcinogen, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Among the 164 dollar-store products tested, 38% (63 of 164) contained vinyl plastic. If you have young children at home, you may want to stay away from the plastic. “Of the vinyl products, 38 were tested for plasticizers; 32% (12 out of 38) of these contained toxic phthalates above the CPSC limits for children’s products,” said the study’s researchers.