Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Warning: Your Kid's School Supplies Might Be Toxic

Yesterday, watching the news broadcast reminded me that the school opening is fast approaching and many parents are now busy buying school supplies for their kids. I imagine children being excited about what notebooks, lunch box and pencil case they will have. Some would prefer to find in their school supplies perhaps their favorite actor's or actress's photo or their favorite cartoon character. Parents might choose these supplies based on appearance not knowing the potential dangers.

That danger is PVC.

PVC or polyvinyl chloride is dangerous to human health (associated to cancer, hormone disruption and severe health problems) and a danger to the environment as well.

I came across these tips from and the following should be avoided because they most likely contain harmful components like polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonate and polystyrene plastics collectively considered toxic plastics:

  1. Notebooks containing metal spirals encased in colored plastic. (Oh no! I used this before when I was a kid till high school)
  2. Backpacks with shiny plastic design.
  3. PVC rainwear (will tell you later what identifying marks will point to something as made of PVC)
  4. Colored paper clips
  5. Shiny and colorful plastic umbrellas
  6. Lunchbox made of PVC which are said to be many
  7. Some plastic drinking containers
PVC products usually have the three-arrow "recycling" symbol with the number 3 and or the initials PVC or the label "vinyl" on the packaging. However some products are not properly labeled.

  1. Notebooks with uncovered metal spirals
  2. Stick to plain metal paper clips
  3. Use nylon umbrellas
  4. Use cardboard, fabric-covered or polypropylene binders
  5. Use cloth or metal lunch boxes
  6. If cannot avoid plastic, use plastics of the polystyrene or polycarbonate type
So parents beware of PVC products. Now you know.

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