Ever notice those PVC-free labels on products and think... I should know what that's about, but I haven't got the time to find out? Me too. Turns out that PVC is a major source of phthalates, yes, the same dangerous plastic softeners we successfully banned from children's toys last year!
Phthalates have been banned in children's toys, but they're still legal in PVC school supplies our children come in contact with on a daily basis. Phthalates harm children's health and development by interfering with natural hormone functioning and have been linked to birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer, liver problems and early onset of puberty in girls-a risk factor for later-life breast cancer.
We'd like to make your life a little easier by helping you send your kids off to school with supplies that are free of PVC, the poison plastic.
Our friends at The Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) have just released a Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies to help you make healthy shopping choices that are safer for your kids, your community and the environment. 1
The guide lists the most common back-to-school supplies made out of toxic PVC plastic and suggests safer PVC-free alternatives. It will even tell you what brands and specific products are safe, and which ones to avoid.
You can get your free copy of the guide right now.
Here's some school supply shopping tips you can start using today:
* 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.
Information provided by:
The Center for Health, Environment, and Justice