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I have two sons going back to school this year, one is starting seventh grade and the other Kindergarten. In fact, summer has flown right by and school supply shopping and preparations have begun in many areas. But, amongst the madness, parents need to know that seemingly safe school supplies, including lunch boxes, backpacks and binders, may pose health hazards.

Phthalates, a chemical that has been linked to birth defects, behavioral problems and a host of other health issues has been found in nearly 75% of school supplies. A study by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice revealed several dangerous toxins in these supplies that pose a health hazard to your child. But, also remember that plastic products in general can pose a health hazard and this isn’t limited to school supplies only.

Dr. Sue Sauder, a pediatric endocrinologist at OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois and with the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, said parents should understand that if these chemicals get in the body, they can potentially cause changes but nothing has been definitively proven.

Just one example from the report found, “Disney princess lunch box 29 times higher than what is considered safe for toys,” Michael Schade with the Center for Health, Environment & Justice said.

There were several tested products and you can read more about it here. Most importantly, a list of PVC-free school supplies can be found here (PDF).

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