In only a few weeks, the kids will be back to school in full swing. So every August the push is on to load up with school supplies. But what the Center for Health, Environment & Justice would like you to remember is that a huge percentage of school supplies contain one of the most toxic substances to human health: polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Anything and everything from backpacks to lunchboxes can contain the material. See the excerpt below from Environmental News Network:
Toxic School Supplies pose Threat to Children's Health
Center for Health, Environment & Justice, press release dated August 8, 2011
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 (CHEJ). “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.”
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) contains dangerous chemical additives such as phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins, which can be toxic to a child’s health. Over 90% of all phthalates are used to soften PVC products. While phthalates have been banned in toys, they are still used in children’s school supplies and other PVC products. PVC is also a major source of dioxin, one of the most toxic chemicals known to science. Dioxin has been targeted for international phase-out by a treaty signed by over 170 nations across the world.
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Image courtesy of Examiner.com.