Danger at the Dollar Store: from food and toys to electrical cords (Video)
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Danger at the Dollar Store: from food and toys to electrical cords (Video)

New York City : NY : USA | Jul 24, 2012 at 2:55 PM PDT
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danger or deal at the dollar store?

Danger at the dollar store part 11

I wrote on this topic two years ago but not much has changed about the dangers lurking among the attractively low-priced items at the popular dollar stores.

The Global economy remains abysmal and the U.S. is no exception. In fact, this so-called 'richest country' in the world's poverty level is rising and widening, with more and more of the middle class sliding into the working poor category. With high unemployment of over 8 percent, down only one percent from 2 years ago--it's not, surprising that many are forced to shop at cheap retail outlets in an effort to stretch the dwindling family budget.

With most of the products costing just a dollar, one can understand the allure of those shopping aisles. Selling everything from food, school supplies, household products, beauty items, body creams, shampoos, vitamins, toys and clothes to electrical cords, many Americans are taking advantage of these deals.

But is it really a deal when consumers save a few dollars only to put their health at risk? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that some of the products sold as authentic are actually imitations, with dangerous ingredients present in some. Though there are some steals like house-hold cleaning and paper products, school supplies and shampoos others might be a bit more tricky. for the dangers are hidden.

For instance, the label might say Colgate but be a counterfeit. Look for the FDA or ADA approved seal on the box or item itself. Some products even reportedly claim to have ingredients that they do not have, like vitamins not really being vitamins, which can mislead consumers to ingest something harmful or worthless.

Experts say consumers should refrain from purchasing food, toys and electrical cords from these dollar or ninety-nine cents stores. Most of the food there come from places outside the U.S. and aren't regulated by the FDA.

Many of the toys come from China and we have all seen the horror stories on a litany of recalled products. High concentrated levels of lead, cadmium and other hazardous materials have been found children's toys and eating utensils. Even plates and cups have dangerous metals.

Electrical cords is one more item to look out for. They can be a fire hazard if not properly regulated and must have the UL (U.S. Listed) rated label on them. To be on the safe side, stay away from those cheap extension cords at the dollar store. According to the motto "if it's too good to be true, it probably is," so be wary of very cheap items that are priced higher everywhere else.

I've noticed a rise in cancer in the Caribbean and can't help but wonder if there is a correlation between the two. When Caribbean folks migrate to the U.S., it's a tradition to send "barrels back home." Relatives work hard, buy food and goods, then ship it back to our families still living in the Caribbean. Many shop at these dollar stores because of the 'great deals,' unknowingly purchasing certain hazardous items.

Fibroids is another medical condition that is extremely widespread among women in African American and Caribbean communities. No one seems to know why that is. I once participated in a cancer program for women of Caribbean descent and was shocked at the questions being asked and the information given on products we women have used most of our lives. From shampoos, hair pomade, creams and hair relaxers, dangerous hormones, chemicals and other ingredients abound.

There is so much we do not know about diseases and medical conditions out there and their direct or indirect link to foods and products we consume and use. Even FDA regulated foods have health risks for manufacturers continue to pack known dangerous hormones, steroids, additives, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, corn fructose syrup and loads of sugar into our food supply.

Be careful what you purchase while hunting for that bargain. Click the video tab above for some additional helpful guidelines.

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Danger and deals at the dollar stores: knowing the difference
VeronicaS is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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