– New Study Reveals Children Are Being Poisoned by Common School Supplies (Activist Post, Aug 28, 2012):
Children are now being exposed to toxic phthalates found in school bags, rain coats, rain boots, three-ring binders and other common school supplies.
A new study published by the Centre for Health, Environment and Justice titled “Hidden Hazards: Toxic Chemicals Inside Children’s Vinyl Back-to-School Supplies” has revealed that common school supplies are laden with toxic chemicals that have been banned in toys.
It was identified that school supplies made out of softened vinyl plastic contained dangerous levels of phthalates.
Phthalates are known to be hazardous even at very low levels of exposure. At high levels of exposure they can disrupt hormones, and have been linked to birth defects, infertility, early puberty, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
A summary of the results of the study are as follows:
- 80% (16/20) of children’s back-to-school supplies sampled contained phthalates.
- The phthalates Bis (2‐ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Di‐n‐octyl phthalate (DnOP), Dimethyl phthalate (DMP), and Di‐n‐butyl phthalate (DBP) were detected in children’s back-to-school supplies.
- 75% (15/20) of children’s back-to-school supplies contained levels of phthalates that would be violation of the federal ban for toys 1, if these products were considered toys.
- 65% (13/20) of children’s back-to-school supplies sampled contained measurable levels of DEHP.
- 55% (11/20) of children’s back-to-school supplies sampled contained more than one phthalate indicating children are exposed to multiple phthalates from vinyl back-to-school supplies.
- None of the products sampled contained labels indicating the products contained phthalate.
- Since the phthalates are not chemically bound to the vinyl, they can migrate from within the products to the surface and be released from the products. Children may be exposed to elevated levels of these toxic substances by using these school supplies.
- Relatively low levels of heavy metals were detected in 40% (8/20) of these children’s school.
Not only have dangerous levels of phthalates been found in backpacks and other common school supplies, they have also been found in school lunch boxes.
One lunch box sold by Disney contained an alarming 29 times the limit set by US Federal Health Agencies. If this lunch box was considered a toy, it would be banned in the United States of America. Another lunch box sold under the Spiderman franchise was found to contain 27 times the limit set by US Federal Health Agencies.
How to Avoid Exposing Your Children to Phthalates
Thankfully, there are ways parents can avoid exposing their children to this dangerous substance.
It is suggested that parents take note of the following:
- Try to not use school supplies that contain vinyl. These products are not always labeled, although some may be labeled as “vinyl” or “PVC.”
- Purchase PVC-free school supplies made out of safer materials.
- To identify vinyl packaging. First look for the universal recycling symbol. If it has the number “3” inside it, or the letters “V” or “PVC” underneath it, you know the product is made out of PVC.
The report recommends government agencies begin labeling which products contain phthalates.
The health and well being of our children is under assault every day. Our children are frequently exposed to high levels of fluoride (proven to reduce intelligence) and aluminium (proven to cause Osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s Disease later in life), and now they are under assault from common products we have all taken for granted for many generations.
I encourage you to write to your local representative and DEMAND that products containing phthalates be labeled.