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September is here, it's back to early schedules, packing lunches, driving carpool, checking homework, manning play dates... yep, the new school year has begun. You've no doubt sent your kids off with all of their necessary supplies, but have you ever stopped to think what thosesupplies might be made with?
Most of them unfortunately have 'toxic dust' that is very unealthy, especially to children.
Popular vinyl lunch boxes like those your kids love with Spiderman, Dora, the Disney Princesses and other characters are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) which contains phthalates. Phthalates make plastic flexible, they are suspected of causing reproductive and neurological damage and have been linked to asthma, ADHD, early puberty, obesity and diabetes. How many kids do you know who have asthma or ADHD? Several, right? Far more than when we were growing up.
The manufacturing of these items are not regulated the way toys are so these companies are allowed to use any chemical they want. The Center for Health, Environment & Justice recently conducted a study testing children's lunchboxes. All had 30 times more toxic dust than the Federal Government considers safe.
Those Disney princesses are not so enchanting. The lunchboxes from Disney were some of the most toxic. The worst part is that they absolutely could manufacture these items without the harmful chemicals, other companies do. Disney chooses not to.
I know there are those who believe that we shouldn't get involved, just let our wallets speak. I respect that and see the point but I simply do not believe that it is okay to make children's products with toxic chemicals. I absolutely allow my wallet to do the talking. I buy my kids lunchboxes that are PVC, pthalate and BPA free. We should all do that, Center for Health, Environment & Justice has a 'PVC Free School Supplies' guide that lists safer options. But in the meantime, Disney needs to be held accountable. Companies manufacturing products they market to our children have an obligation to keep them safe.
If you read this blog regularly, you likely know about my 80/20 rule so I let certain things slide, I don't worry about every little thing but in 2008 the Federal Government banned pthalates from toys, they certainly should not be in the lunch boxes our children use that carry the food they eat! Please. These chemicals are harmful for adults as well but consider this, children's systems are not fully developed so their young organs are not equipped to filter out the bad stuff out as well. Exposure to toxic chemicals can be extremely dangerous to their health.
We can make a difference. Lori at Groovy Green Livin' was successful with her petition toProctor & Gamble, now she's leading the cause to urge Disney to stop using pthalates in their products. Please sign her petition and send this to your friends, Tweet it, post to FB... let's help her get more signatures than she thought possible!