Avoid Toxic School Supplies with New Back-to-School Guide

| 8/9/2011 8:48:41 AM

Tags: Center for Health Environment and Justice, CHEJ, back to school, Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies, PVC products, back to school supplies, chemicals children, toxic children, Press Release,

The Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) today released its 2011 Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies [http://www.chej.org/publications/PVCGuide/PVCfree.pdf] to help parents choose safer, PVC-free school supplies.  The guide is being released just in time for back-to-school shopping.  Parents across the country are stocking up on binders and lunchboxes.  But while it's easy to know the healthiest foods to pack in those lunchboxes, many parents are not aware of the toxic plastic used to make them.  In fact, the average child's character-themed backpack is filled with supplies and materials made from the most toxic plastic for our health and environment, polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl). 

A new 2011 study found PVC is the most widely used hazardous plastic in the world.  Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful health effects of toxic chemicals, such as phthalates, lead and dioxin, that are released by the PVC lifecycle. These chemicals are linked to chronic diseases on the rise in children including learning and developmental disabilities, asthma, obesity and cancer. 

"Parents have a right to know about toxic chemicals in children's products," said Mike Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator for the Center for Health, Environment & Justice.  "Unfortunately, many school supplies are made out of PVC or vinyl plastic, the most toxic plastic for our health and the environment.  This plastic can contain a toxic stew of phthalates, lead, cadmium, and organotins-it's a recipe for disaster.  Thankfully parents can now find safer and affordable products for their children with our 2011 Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies." 

CHEJ is releasing the expanded 4th Annual Edition of their popular Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies to help parents make informed and safer shopping choices.  Over thirty-five categories of school supplies, from backpacks to lunchboxes and computers, are covered in the guide.  A wallet-sized version is also available. 

A few of the top tips for avoiding toxic PVC school supplies are:

1. Avoid backpacks with shiny plastic designs as they often contain PVC and may contain lead.

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