For many years, CEH has worked to eliminate lead threats to children and families
Our work has resulted in entire industries changing the way they make children’s products, including toys, jewelry, and even baby bibs and many other products.
Recently we did some Back-to-School shopping. In past years, we found many back-to-school items with high levels of lead. For example, a few years ago we found large amounts of lead in many children’s lunchboxes.
Fortunately, this year we found fewer problems. But there are still some leady items in stores. We found high levels of lead in this lunchbox and pencil pouch.
We also found this backpack. An independent lab test showed that this backpack contained more than 20 times the legal limit for lead.
Tips for Safer Back-to-School Shopping <ul><li>Avoid vinyl (PVC) lunchboxes or backpacks; look for natural materials, stainless steel, or nylon. Raingear, belts and other clothes may also be made with PCV – check labels and look for alternatives. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for plastic containers, water bottles, art supplies and other products made without BPA or phthalates </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid dry erase or scented markers, or strong glues made with toxic solvents (glue sticks are a safer alternative) </li></ul><ul><li>Kids should wash hands often, so remember, soap and water is best. If using sanitizers, avoid those with anti-bacterials like triclosan (ethyl alcohol/ethanol is ok) </li></ul><ul><li>Many school binders are made with PVC; look for cardboard, fabric-covered, or polypropylene binders. </li></ul>
See some safer lunchbox options at http://bit.ly/cY3wQT The Center for Health, Environment and Justice also has a great back-to-school guide, as does the Environmental Working Group .
CEH also works with the Get the Lead Out coalition , which has lead safety tips for consumers, the home and the workplace.