In April 2022, the Campaign for Healthier Solutions and Ecology Center joined together to:

Tell 99 Cents Only Stores to stop bargaining with our health.

While some dollar stores were making progress to phase out harmful chemicals from their products after facing pressure from consumers, 99 Cents Only Stores had earned an F on every single Retailer Report Card since 2017. In our various media interviews, the discount retailer Five Below was also a culprit.

New tests from the Campaign for Healthier Solutions and Ecology Center showed that 99 Cents Only Stores continue to sell products that contain toxic chemicals including BPA, lead, phthalates, the “poison plastic” PVC, and PFAS. Studies have linked many of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals to increased risks for cancer, reduced fertility, developmental disabilities, obesity, diabetes and other serious health conditions. When children are exposed to lead and phthalates, it can harm brain health, lead to lower IQ, attention and behavior issues, and ADHD.

The Campaign for Healthier Solutions, aka "The Dollar Store Campaign," is a project of the Environmental Justice and Health Alliance and Coming Clean.

Learn more about this campaign at >>

Press Outreach

On April 12, 2022, we circulated a news release titled, "Hazardous Chemicals Present in Kids’ Products at Dollar Stores, Report Finds: Major dollar store chains have been slow to improve product safety despite years of consumer pressure."

Read it >>

Media Placements w/José Bravo

The cost of toxic products? Just $1

Published in Grist. Author: Julie Kane, April 21, 2022. Reach 485k impressions. Photo: Downtowngal, Wikicommons.

"But in contrast, corporate leaders at Five Below, a recent addition to the report, have rebuffed Bravo’s requests for a meeting. Executives at 99 Cents Only met with Bravo and his team early last year and initially seemed open to working with suppliers to eliminate toxic substances, but since then, “radio silence,” said Bravo. In early March, he drove from his home in San Diego to the company’s headquarters just outside of Los Angeles. He tried to hand deliver a copy of his organization and the Healthy Stuff Lab’s findings, but a receptionist refused to take the report."

Full article >>

Harmful chemicals found in toys and canned food at US discount stores

Published in The Guardian. Author: Aliya Uteuova, April 12, 2022. Reach 114m impressions. Reposted in the Milwaukee Independent with reach of 72.5k impressions. Photo: Canva.

"'As a parent, I should be able to buy a product without expecting to poison my child,' said Jose Bravo, national coordinator at the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, a coalition that calls on dollar stores to phase out hazardous chemicals from their products. ... Bravo says that businesses don’t have the capacity to test every product sold, adding that the federal government only intervenes when someone gets sick or dies. "

Full article >>

Published in EcoWatch. Author: Olivia Rosane, April 22, 2022. Reach unknown. Photo: JJBers. Wikicommons.

More Than Half of Dollar Store Items Tested Contain Toxic Chemicals

In the seven years since the Campaign for Healthier Solutions published their initial report on toxic chemicals in dollar store products, Bravo has seen “light years” worth of progress in addressing the issue. While 53 percent of products tested still contained chemicals of concern in 2022, that number was 80 percent of 164 products tested in 2015. Further, when the campaign has gone back and tested items that previously tested positive for lead, they have found that they tested negative the second time.

Full article >>

Published in E+E News. Arielle Wittenberg, April 12, 2022. Reach 252k impressions. Photo: Jim.Henderson, Wikicommons.

Testing finds toxic chemicals in 50% of dollar store goods

Bravo said he appreciates the brands’ attention to the issue, but that they need to expand their list of restricted chemicals and apply it to more products. He also said other dollar store chains need to do the same, and noted that representatives from 99 Cents Only Stores and Five Below have not responded to the Campaign for Healthier Solutions’ informing them of the findings.

Full article >>

Additional Placements

Social Media

Original tweets from the Campaign for Healthier Solutions account earned 1.3k impressions from April 12-15–the week we released our report and amplified via social media. The entire campaign was circulated both in English and Spanish languages.

Eleven organizations posted using the CHS social media kit:

  • Breast Cancer Prevention Partners

  • Center for Environmental Health

  • Center for Food Safety

  • Coming Clean

  • Defend Our Health

  • Global Center for Climate Justice

  • Just Transition Alliance

  • Learning Disabilities of America, Healthy Children Project

  • National Resources Defense Council, Inc.

  • Until Data Justice Partners

  • Women's Voices for the Earth

Five publications tweeted about our report: The Guardian, EcoWatch, Grist, E&E News, and Treehugger. CHS's Facebook post reached 1,870 people and earned 61 engagements; 131 users sent emails to 99 Cents Only Stores executives using our Salsa action page.

Top Tweets

April 12, 2022
1,118 Impressions

April 12, 2022
984 Impressions

About Campaign for Healthier Solutions

The Campaign for Healthier Solutions (CHS)–a project by the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA) and Coming Clean–launched in February 2015. 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 and more. CHS aims to work with the four largest Dollar Store Chains–Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only–which collectively operate more stores than any other major retailer in the U.S. As part of their business model, these stores target rural towns and urban neighborhoods, where there is frequently a lack of access to fresh and healthy produce. These dollar stores are often the only place to purchase essential household goods, including food. CHS seeks to work with these discount retailers to help them protect their customers and the communities in which they operate, and grow their businesses, by implementing corporate policies to identify and phase out harmful chemicals in the products they sell, and by stocking healthy, locally-grown foods. Learn more at and follow @nontoxdlrstores.

About Just Transition Alliance

The Just Transition Alliance (JTA) was founded in 1997 as a coalition of environmental justice organizations and labor unions. Together with frontline workers and community members who live along the fence-line of polluting industries, we create healthy workplaces and communities. The Just Transition Alliance is a 501(c)3 organization based in San Diego, California. JTA is a member of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance, where JTA Executive Director José Bravo serves as the National Coordinator of the Campaign for Healthier Solutions. Learn more at