Hidden Toxic Chemicals Linked to Asthma and Birth Defects Found in Children’s “Back-to-School” Supplies
Laboratory Tests Reveal Levels Higher Than Deemed Safe in Toys
New Guide to Safer School Supplies Also Released
NEW YORK, Aug. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A brand new report reveals that toxic chemicals linked to asthma and birth defects that are banned in toys were found to be widespread in children’s vinyl back-to-school supplies.
Seventy-five percent of children’s school supplies tested in a laboratory had elevated levels of toxic phthalates, including popular Disney, Spiderman, and Dora branded school supplies, vinyl lunchboxes, backpacks, 3-ring binders, raincoats, and rainboots. The products were purchased in NYC during the 2012 “back-to-school” shopping season. One product tested, the Amazing Spiderman Lunchbox, contained an estimated 27,900 parts per million (ppm) of the phthalate DEHP. If this were a children’s toy, it would be over 27 times the federal safety limit.
“We found elevated levels of toxic phthalates widespread in children’s school supplies. These chemicals, manufactured by Exxon Mobil, have no place in children’s school supplies. While phthalates are banned in children’s toys, similar safeguards don’t exist to keep them out of lunchboxes, backpacks and other children’s school supplies,” says Mike Schade, Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) author of the new report, Hidden Hazards: Toxic Chemicals Inside Children’s Vinyl Back-to-School Supplies. CHEJ also updated their annual Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies.
“It’s disturbing that millions of young children are being exposed to toxic chemicals with to no enforcements to protect them,” said Judy Braiman of the Empire State Consumer Project report co-publisher.
“The New York State PTA has adopted resolutions calling for the reduction of toxic materials in schools and is pleased to support the release of this information to the public. We urge everyone to reduce their families’ exposure to phthalates by choosing phthalate-free products. The Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies is one source to find those products,” says Sue Rau of the New York State Parent Teacher Association (NYS PTA).
“This report highlights the fact that parents can’t assume that a product is safe for their kids simply because it’s on a store shelf. Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director, Clean and Healthy New York. “We need comprehensive laws that make sure chemicals are safe.”
For more info: http://www.chej.org/2012/08/backtoschool2012