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Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Back-to-School Items

Baisha Kreuzer4 years ago

Children’s back-to-school backpacks and supplies contain higher levels of potentially toxic chemicals called phthalates, news outlets report. This chemical is potentially harmful to people, particularly young children, and it consists in more products than deemed approvable. 

What are Phthalates?

Phthalates are a potentially toxic chemical that reside mostly in soft plastic. According to a report by Forbes, 90% of phthalates can be found in most household products and almost anything made with soft, malleable plastic. They are endocrine disruptors that are harmful in even small doses. Studies of this chemical have shown it can be linked to birth defects, infertility, early puberty, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. As prominent in most products as this chemical is, it is impossible to avoid it altogether. But parents can be cautious about using certain products, like back-to-school items, that might contain the chemical.

Phthalates in More Products Than Should be Allowed

  • According to a report by CBS news, a recent study found that 75% of children’s school supplies contain high levels of phthalates.
  • The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) explains that phthalates are a class of chemical used to form softened vinyl plastic. It can be found in most household products and almost anything made with soft, malleable plastic.
  • In an investigation, scientists randomly tested 20 back-to-school items from New York City dollar stores and other retailers and found higher-than-normal phthalates.
  • For example, a Disney’s Dora the Explorer Backpack contained phthalate levels over 69 times higher than allowed by the federal limit for toys.

Senators are pushing for a bill that would let the Environmental Protection Agency regulate chemicals used in consumer products. But affirmative action has yet to be issued on this chemical. All consumers, especially parents, are encouraged to be cautious of any products containing phthalates.

Contact an Experienced Child Safety Recall Attorney

Thomas J. Henry are leaders in the area of product liability litigation. Our Defective Drug and Products Division has extensive knowledge and resources in both product liability litigation and child injury. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury due to a recalled product, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.



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