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Hidden hazards inside children’s school supplies

Posted on Aug 26, 2012
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Parent's guide to safer school suppliesThe Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) and Empire State Consumer Project recently tested 20 back-to-school items for phthalates –  harmful chemical additives used to make PVC (aka vinyl) plastic products soft and flexible. Can you guess what they found?

a) None! The industry has completely eliminated phthalates from all children’s products.
b) A few, but nothing to be concerned about.
c) Elevated levels of phthalates in almost every product.

If you answered C, you’re correct! Phthalates were found in levels that would have been banned if the products were children’s toys, but are allowed in other common kids’ products, including backpacks, lunchboxes, binders, and raingear. Even low levels of phthalate exposure have been associated with birth defects, obesity and asthma.

What can you do about this? Luckily, choosing PVC-free products is easier and more affordable than ever. To help you find the best products out there, CHEJ has put together its 5th annual Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies, with safer choices in over 40 product categories, including backpacks, lunchboxes, binders, pens, art supplies, and electronics.

This is one test you don’t want to fail – go PVC-free!

Download the guide here

Download the wallet-sized version here

We can’t just shop our way out of the problem though.  This new report underscores the need for Congress to get dangerous chemicals out of our homes, schools and communities.  Tell Congress to Pass the Safe Chemicals Act.