A new report out this morning shows back to school items, branded with favorite kid’s characters, riddled with phthalates.
“If the Amazing Spiderman backpack were a children’s toy, it would be over 52 times the limit set by the federal ban.”
The study found:
- 80% of children’s back to school supplies contained phthalates
- 75% of children’s back to school supplies contained levels of phthalates that would be in violation of the federal ban for toys.
- The Amazing Spider Man Backpack contained an estimated 52,700 parts per million (ppm) and 14,900 ppm of DEHP in two different locations. If this product were a children’s toy, it would be over 52 times the limit set by the federal ban.
- Similar results were found for Dora the Explorer and Disney Princess branded items.
- Excessive levels of phthalates were found in everything from raincoats to 3-ring binders.
- Phthalates were present because the items were all made out of PVC
To see the full report head to the CHEJ website: http://chej.org/2012/08/backtoschool2012/
What’s the problem with phthalates?
- Phthalates are hazardous at low levels of exposure
- Linked to birth defects, infertility, early puberty, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
- Disrupt hormones in the body.
- As plasticizers, it is very easy for phthalates to leach from products into the air in homes, school and workplaces, making its way to into our bodies. They have been detected widely in blood, urine and breast milk.
- Phthalates have been found in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies.
The Center for Health, Environment and Justice who did the study has a great guide to PVC free back to school studies.
3 quick tips for avoiding toxic back to school items:
- Avoid items that come with this warning “This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, and birth defects and other reproductive harm.” This means the product likely contains lead.
- Avoid items with shiny plastic designs
- Look for items that are labelled “PVC free”
What about you?
Were you aware that back to school items can be highly toxic? Have you managed to find PVC free items for back to school? Leave a comment and let us know!