Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back to School Lead Concerns - Lunchboxes

As my daughter enters Kindergarten this fall, I am in search for a safe lunchbox. In my Internet searching, I came across the following from the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland, California (CEH) (

According to the CEH, over 200 children's soft vinyl lunchboxes that CEH has tested since 2004 contained high levels of lead. Lead was usually found in the lining of the lunchboxes where it could come into contact with food. The group said tests of one lunchbox made by Targus International contained more than 90 times the legal limit for lead paint in children's products.
Other brightly colored vinyl lunch boxes were tested featuring characters such as PowerPuff Girls, Superman and Hamtaro. All contained lead over the 600 ppm legal limit for lead in children's products.

In addition to being a known carcinogen and reproductive toxin, lead is a neurotoxin that can cause health effects such as behavioral problems and hearing problems in children that are exposed to low levels. Because it is difficult to tell by sight which lunchboxes contain lead, CEH is advising parents to buy products from companies that have committed to only sell lead-safe lunchboxes. If these are not available, the CEH recommends that parents avoid soft vinyl lunchboxes altogether, or test their own lunchboxes at home.

We are currently looking at for a selection of lead free lunch bags including NY Munchlers and Mimi the Sardine for our daughter.

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