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Keep the Poison Plastic Out of Your Child’s School Supplies

Posted Aug 15 2010 2:19pm

PVC or polyvinyl chloride is the most toxic plastic that we use.  The manufacture, the use and the disposal of PVC involves many toxic chemicals like dioxins, phthalates, vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, lead, cadmium, and organotins .  PVC is common at schools and in school supplies.  The negative effects are magnified in children because of their small body size and because they are still developing. Children of all ages are prone to putting things in their mouths plus they are likely to sit on the floor which may be vinyl. Respiratory problems are associated with close contact with PVC. The phthalates that are in PVC are suspected to cause reproductive problems, obesity, and autism.

It might be difficult for you to change something like the flooring in your child’s school but you can avoid PVC in school supplies. Some school supplies that commonly are made of PVC are lunch boxes, back packs and notebooks.
- Avoid backpacks that have shiny plastic designs.
- Don’t buy vinyl (which is PVC), purses, rain coats, or umbrellas.
- Buy electronics that are PVC-free.  Check this website for more information.
- Don’t buy spiral notebooks that have a plastic covered metal spiral.  This plastic often contains PVC.  The same goes for colorful plastic covered paper clips.  You can be sure that kids put these in their mouths.
- Notebooks dividers, three-ring dividers, and organizers that are made of plastic may also contain PVC.

Look for the chasing arrow symbol around the number 3, which indicates PVC.  Look for the letters “PVC” or just “V” , also the product may be labelled vinyl.  At Walmart, I saw many folders that are labelled vinyl folders which were dirt cheap.  Don't buy them, they are PVC.  You may also smell a “plastic” smell, like that new car smell.  That is PVC,

Download this handy guide published by the Center for Health, Environment & Justice  for great suggestions about PVC-free brands and products.  Protect your kids!

This post is part of the August Green Mom's Carnival and is hosted by Micaela at Mindful Momma .
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