I have fond childhood memories of going to dollar stores with my mom. It was what we could afford.

We’d pick-up the few items we needed and sometimes I’d get to pick out a toy, make-up, or a food item as a treat. Little did we know that some of those low-cost products may have contained toxic chemicals.

This was my norm growing up, as is it the norm of many children today.

Over the years I became more aware of the systematic environmental injustices that people of color and low-income families face every day. I grew up more likely to be exposed to poor air quality because of my zip code. My family was often only able to afford highly processed foods or lower quality products that may have contained harmful chemicals.

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Photo Credit: Dollar Tree, Inc.