Together, we can get toxic chemicals out of children’s school supplies once and for all! Read the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ), (a national environmental health organization), brand new report that found toxic chemicals linked to asthma and birth defects widespread in children’s vinyl back-to-school supplies. The chemicals found, phthalates, are so toxic they’ve been banned in toys, yet are widespread in children’s vinyl school supplies. http://chej.org/2012/08/backtoschool2012/
See what CBS News has to say about this new report. The new investigation found 75% of children’s “back-to-school” supplies tested in a laboratory had elevated levels of toxic phthalates, including popular branded school supplies (vinyl lunch boxes, backpacks, 3-ring binders, raincoats, and rain boots.)
The levels of phthalates would be illegal if these products were toys. For instance, we found:
- A Backpack contained phthalates 69 times the limit set by the federal ban.
- A Backpack contained phthalates 52 times the limit set by the federal ban.
- A Lunchbox contained phthalates 29 times the limit set by the federal ban.
- A Lunchbox contained phthalates 27 times the limit set by the federal ban.
Just like toys, school supplies like these are used by young children vulnerable to chemical exposure.
And none of the products had any labels on them indicating they were chock full of these nasty substances. Don’t we have a right to know? Toxic Chemicals in School Supplies.
Phthalates: Harmful to Children’s Health. Healthy Child Healthy World’s blog tells you children are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals. What you may not know is that these phthalates that are lurking in children’s school supplies have been linked to many serious health problems in children and adults.
Over 90% of all phthalates are used to soften vinyl (aka PVC) plastic. Phthalates are hazardous at low levels of exposure, disrupt hormones in our bodies, and have been linked to birth defects, infertility, early puberty, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
As a result of the widespread use of phthalates in vinyl plastic products, they have been found in the air and dust of our homes and schools, and are getting into children’s bodies. According to testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children face the highest exposures to these hazardous chemicals.
Safer Alternatives are Available
Thankfully, there are many safer alternatives on the market. One simple way you can steer clear of phthalates in children’s school supplies is cutting out PVC/vinyl all together, as over 90% of phthalates are used in vinyl.
So in conjunction with the release of the new product testing data, we’ve also released our 5th annual Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies, featuring over 40 product categories of safer gear for the fall, including backpacks, lunchboxes, binders, art supplies, electronics, and more.
Spread the word. We can use your help in getting the word out to other parents! Please consider sharing this link with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.
We’ve also created these downloadable web graphics promoting the Back-to-School Guide, which is great for posting on websites, blogs, and Facebook:
Together, we can get these toxic chemicals out of children’s school supplies once and for all! by Mike Schade, Markets Campaign Coordinator, Center for Health, Environment, and Justice. Mike Schade is the Markets Campaign Coordinator with the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ), a national environmental health organization.