Poisoning our children

Retailers of back to school clothing are seeing parents and older school-age children holding out before going all in on purchasing.  It’s all about being fashionable.

In an interview with the New York Times, Amazon’s fashion president Cathy Beaudoin says that waiting until after Labor Day to buy clothes for older kids allows the students to see what others are wearing.   Janney Capital Markets’ Adrienne Tennant said, “with young girls, when you’re going into a big trend season, the early adopters will certainly be there, but the fashion followers will buy some stuff to start themselves off with, but go back to school and make sure they got the right color, the right fit and the right trend.”

Unfortunately this fashionably later buying did not happen for our youngest children in school.  Had the parents of these children waited until this week to buy their kids new backpacks, lunchboxes, binders, rainboots and raincoats, their children might not be wearing and toting products with toxic chemicals that “have been linked to birth defects, infertility, early puberty, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.”

According to a new report released this weekend by Center for Health, Environment and Justice’s Green Schools Campaign and the Empire State Consumer Project:

“New laboratory tests reveal children’s vinyl “backtoschool” supplies are laden with hidden toxic chemicals harmful to children’s health. This new investigation demonstrates that popular children’s school supplies contain elevated levels of phthalates, hazardous chemicals that have been banned in toys, yet remain widespread in vinyl backtoschool supplies.”

Phthalates are toxic chemicals primarily used to soften vinyl plastic.  They are particularly hazardous to young children even at low levels. Congress banned these chemicals from being used in toys, baby bottle nipples, pacifiers, etc. aimed at children in any amount greater than 0.1 percent of the mass of the entire product. 

But as this new investigation reveals, your older children are coming in contact with school supplies and apparel containing up to 69 times the toxic chemicals banned from toys.  Here are some of the products that pose a serious danger to your child:

Amazing Spiderman Backpack

Dora the Explorer Backpack

Brave Backpack

WVE “The Rock” Backpack

Disney Princes Lunchbox

Amazing Spiderman Lunchbox

Access Bag N Pack Lunch Bag

Fridge Green 6 Can Cooler

Pink Tinted View 1.5” Hard Binder

Brown Polka Dot/Hot Chocolate 1” Hard Binder

Smart Fit Kids Multi Rainboot

Smart Fit Kids Pink Rainboot

Disney Princess Rose Kids Rainboot

Disney Rain Slicker—Minie Mouse

Spider Sense Spiderman Youth Rain Poncho

And the danger to your family is not just from these products for children.  These phthalates are still widely used in other vinyl products and “have been found in the air and dust of our homes and schools, our bodies, blood and breast milk.”

Congress should update the Toxic Substances Control Act, a 36-year old out dated federal law that is failing to protect the consumers, especially our children.  The public doesn’t think it is fashionable for businesses to be poisoning our kids with toxic chemicals.  And on behalf of the nation’s small businesses, we don’t want to sell products with these chemicals that are hazardous to the health of our children.    

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