Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Your Child's School Supplies - Phthalates Warning

Phthalates has been banned in children's' toys, but is still legal in school supplies. This chemical is the same dangerous soft plastic that was successfully banned for making toys last year due to complaints by concerned parents. Today, I was reading an article from Momsrising.org stating that phthalates interfere with natural hormones and is linked to birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer and liver problems. The article also states that phthalates have caused early puberty in girls. I feel this is important information for parents and we should all be aware of what chemicals are in our children's' school supplies. You can download a free guide on Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies to see the list of phthalates free supplies. Lets all be diligent in keeping our children safe.

Here are some quick tips:
  • PVC Labeling: PVC products are often labeled with the words "vinyl" on the packaging, such as vinyl 3-ring binders. PVC can also be identified by looking for the number "3" inside, or the letters "V" or "PVC" underneath, the universal recycling symbol. Just remember, bad news comes in #3's, so don't buy PVC!
  • Backpacks: Avoid backpacks with shiny plastic designs as they often contain PVC and may contain lead.
  • Art Supplies: Modeling clays are often loaded with phthalates. Look for clays made without PVC and phthalates like Crayola Air-Dry clay.
  • Notebooks: Avoid notebooks containing metal spirals encased in colored plastic. The colored plastic coating on the metal spirals usually contains PVC. Select notebooks with uncovered metal spirals to avoid PVC.
  • Paper Clips: Stick to the plain metal paperclips. Colored paper clips are coated with PVC.
  • Shoes: Crocs are PVC free, however many similar shoes (or 'knockoffs"), like the Kamid Doodle, are made with PVC. Many of the charms for Crocs are also made with PVC. All Nike, Puma, and L.L. Bean shoes are PVC free.


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