Kids and cartoons? Classic. Kids and chemicals? Not so much.Posted October 2nd, 2012 by Claire Moshenberg
Phthalates are toxic chemicals already banned from children’s toys because we know they’re dangerous to kids. But they aren’t yet banned from all products intended for kids: It turns out phthalates can be found in many back-to-school products as well, including lunch boxes and backpacks!
This year, an independent study found levels of phthalates in Disney-licensed lunch boxes that would be illegal if these products were toys. In fact, these lunch boxes had levels 20 times higher than the legal toy phthalates limit!
Kids and cartoons? Classic. Kids and chemicals? Not so much.
What are phthalates?
Phthalates are a toxic chemical that’s used to make vinyl plastics more flexible. They’re linked to asthma, ADHD, and other chronic health problems in children. Younger kids are particularly at risk for phthalate exposure.
When phthalates are contained in school supplies like lunch boxes, they can cling to dust, which can make these harmful chemicals more easily absorbed into our kid’s bodies. If phthalates don’t belong in toys, then we know that they don’t belong in any items targeted at children. And lunch boxes covered in pictures of favorite childhood cartoon characters – lunch boxes that will get touched and held daily — definitely should not contain this dangerous chemical.
How were phthalates found in Disney licensed lunch boxes?
The Center for Health, Environment & Justice’s (CHEJ) Green Schools Campaign and the Empire State Consumer Project conducted a study with an independent laboratory and found that a whopping 75% of the back-to-school items they tested contained levels of phthalates that would be in violation of the federal ban for toys.
CHEJ tested both the Disney Princess lunch box and the Amazing Spiderman, both charters licensed by Disney, and found that both lunch boxes have over 25 times the legal limit for toys!
Please share this action on Facebook and with a few friends. The more voices, the stronger our message. Huge thank you to Lori Popkewitz Alper from Groovy Green Livin, the Center for Health, Environment and Justice’s (CHEJ) Green Schools Campaign and the Empire State Consumer Project for all the work they do to keep our families safe. To explore their great Hidden Hazards report, click here.
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