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Plastic-Free Back-to-School Supplies

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Did you know your child'??s school supplies may be loaded with toxic PVC plastic? Find safer products for your child this year, with CHEJ'??s new Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies. The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) developed this guide to help parents choose safer, greener school supplies. Now we're sharing it with you (Whew! Just in time for tax-free back-to-school shopping).

Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful health effects of toxic chemicals, such as dioxin, that are released from PVC products. A new analysis by the Environmental Working Group found Americans are exposed to up to 1,200 times more dioxin than the EPA considers safe, and the amount of dioxin infants are exposed to is up to 77 times higher than the level the agency has defined as harmless to the endocrine and immune systems. Chemicals released by the PVCs are linked to chronic diseases on the rise in children including learning and developmental disabilities, asthma, obesity and cancer. Although PVC, the toxic plastic, is found in many name-brand products, many safer PVC-free products are available.

Here's another fact: Federal law has banned the use of phthalates in toys even as it is still used in children'??s school supplies. Both Congress and the President'??s Cancer Panel have called for greater regulation of such toxic chemicals in consumer products, but parents can act now to protect their children'??s health by making smart shopping choices.

This Guide has over twenty categories of school supplies, from backpacks to art supplies, are covered.
A few of the top tips for avoiding toxic PVC school supplies are:

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1. Avoid backpacks with shiny plastic designs as they often contain PVC and may contain lead.
2. Use cloth lunchboxes or metal lunchboxes. Many lunchboxes are made of PVC, or coated with PVC on the inside.
3. Used cardboard, fabric-covered, or polypropylene binders. Most 3-ring binders are made of PVC.

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Exercise your purchasing power! Let retailers know that PVC the poison plastic is not acceptable by buying only PVC-free school supplies. Download your guides here:

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