A new study released in late August by Environmental Defense found heavy metals, such as lead, and other toxic chemicals in baby items sold by Dollarama and Dollar Tree.
The report revealed the presence of phthalates, bisphenols and “eternal chemicals” or PFAS in a variety of foods, toys and baby items. These chemicals are particularly harmful to vulnerable populations such as children.
A children’s activity tracker and headphones contained more than 8,000 times the level of external lead established for children’s products.
“There is a lack of regulation for lead in products, despite the tendency of these products to break down and expose their dangerous hidden components,” said Cassie Barker, senior program manager for Toxics at Environmental Defense. This regulatory loophole is a loophole that dollar stores use to sell products that contain high levels of lead without breaking the law. “
According to the expert, there should be no safety limits for lead. Baby products simply shouldn’t contain this dangerous substance.
According to the report, at least one in four products tested contained toxic chemicals, including lead in baby products and electronics such as headphones.
All receipts tested contained bisphenol-S (BPS).
All cans tested contained toxic chemicals (60% with BPA, 40% with PVC and polyester resin).
All of the microwave popcorn packets tested contained PFAS.
Exposure to heavy metals and hazardous chemicals, even in small amounts, has an impact on reproduction, behavior, metabolism and chronic diseases such as cancer, asthma and diabetes.
Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of these products due to their rapidly growing bodies.
Toxic exposures are also linked to learning difficulties such as low IQ, autism spectrum, and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The report highlights the failure of the Canadian regulatory system to adequately protect public health, especially populations disproportionately affected by toxic substances.
Many low-income and racialized communities already face systemic economic barriers and cannot avoid toxic exposure by choosing more expensive, toxic-free alternatives.
“Racialized and low-income communities are targeted by low-cost retailers who, despite their report on environmental and social responsibility, sell products to these communities laden with harmful substances,” complained the Dr Ingrid Waldron, Executive Director of the Environmental Harm, Racial Inequalities and Community Health (ENRICH) project, a collaborative research and community engagement project on environmental racism in the communities of Mi’kmaq and the African Nova Scotia.
“For individuals and communities whose only affordable retail option is a discount store, we need to provide them with the same protection as those whose financial, geographic and socioeconomic privileges allow them to get out of these toxic exposures,” he added.