I can't believe summer is now winding down and we are shifting to back to school mode. Retailers switch out their displays to showcase Back to School (BTS) merchandise right after July 4th but I've been burying my head in the sand to avoid it. Unfortunately, I can't anymore. I have three more weeks until my girls start school so BTS shopping is in full swing in my household. New backpacks, lunch bags, binders, shoes, socks, etc ... but before you buy, there are a few things to keep in mind.
While we may be up to speed on BPA and phthalates in personal care and baby products - we may not be as aware of the muck lurking in binders, lunch bags, and backpacks. This muck has been linked to learning and developmental disabilities, asthma, obesity, and cancer. The reason is the majority of school supplies are manufactured using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is one of the most hazardous plastic for our health and the environment. PVC contains quite a concoction of chemical additives - phthalates, lead, cadmium - all of which are toxic and can pose unnecessary dangers to your child's health
The best thing to do is avoid PVC and seek out PVC alternatives when buying school supplies. CHEJ just release their updated 2011 Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies. Use it to help you make smarter and healthier choices for yourself and your children. By taking these small steps, you too are Growing a Greener Future.