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Buying Safe School Supplies

Phthalates in Vinyl School Supplies

A 2013 laboratory test revealed children’s vinyl school supplies can contain high levels of phthalates. Phthalates are a group of chemicals that have been banned in toys for young kids. Yet they can still be found in vinyl school supplies. Phthalates are hormone disrupting chemicals that are hazardous at low levels and have been linked to birth defects, infertility, early puberty, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Phthalates have been found found in the air & dust of our homes & schools, & in our bodies in blood & breast milk.

Buying Better Gear

Public-health advocates recommend buying backpacks made of natural fibers and avoiding the shiny plastic models that often contain PVC. Sprout carries a variety of backpacks and lunch boxes that are free of vinyl and PVC – check out our Gear.

Safe Supplies

Other toxins to avoid can be found in crayons. According to the Washington Post‘s toxic-free back-to-school shopping guide, some crayons that are imported from China have been found to be contaminated with asbestos. Advocates said it’s safer to purchase crayons that have been manufactured in the United States. Sprout carries organic, beeswax crayons which are a great alternative.

Keep Lunchtime Healthy

Of course, when you pack lunches, make sure to use stainless steel containers instead of plastic food containers when possible, so that no chemicals from the plastic can leach into your child’s food. Read more on that in our Healthy Baby Guide to Storage & Food Containers.

Related Articles

How to Pack a Healthy & Waste-Free Lunch
The Problem with Plastics
School Lunch Ideas
Why Allergies Have Become More Prevalent & Dangerous
How One Mom of School-Aged Children Became a Cleaning Product Convert
Play-Based Preschools (and Finding a Fit for Your Child)
Picking a Preschool – and Trying to Get In

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