One of the most exciting parts for children who are returning to school for a new year is back-to-school shopping. Unfortunately, what many parents remain unaware of is that a danger to our kids could be lurking right under our noses in the form of their school supplies.
It is difficult to imagine, but it is not uncommon for many popular supplies including markers, dry erase markers, crayons, and even binders to contain harmful toxic chemicals. In fact, according to Amy Ziff, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit, Made Safe, which assists with finding products free of toxic chemicals, most are surprised by what some of these supplies may contain – especially in light of what they may say on the packaging. “Well, I think this is completely shocking to people, the fact that there could be asbestos in crayons,” she says.
In 2018, the nonprofit U.S. PIRG conducted a test of 27 different school supplies, finding that there could be dangerous chemicals in things as commonly purchased as Playskool crayons and Jot three-ring binders. The chemicals in The Board Dudes dry erase markers can even disturb a child’s hormonal system, with links to breast cancer, prostate cancer, and infertility.
Health Hazards Found in Common Products
One of the scariest parts of all of this is the fact that these chemicals are even within many of the same products that are intended to clean things — or even people. Cleaning wipes often use in the classroom are made of plastic and commonly contain chemicals. Even hand soap and sanitizers, which we put directly on our skin, may contain chemicals if they claim to be antibacterial or antimicrobial. One helpful thing is to avoid soaps with fragrances since this eliminates the possibility of something in the fragrance being toxic.
Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to decipher whether an item is toxic. Even though numerous items pass inspection (they fall within a permissible level of the limit of substances) there are still things that can be done to reduce your likelihood of buying toxic products. Aside from looking to see if a product labels itself as being made from non-toxic materials, products made using natural materials are also a good bet. Fortunately, there are resources that can help parents to figure out whether an item contains toxic chemicals.
Continuously Educate Yourself
Although it’s not always the easiest to do your research, it is one of the most important things that you can do. You are the best advocate for your child and should, therefore, become very observant as to what it is that you are buying and what it is that your children are using.
If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a toxic product, Caddell Reynolds can help. Our defective products lawyers can help you to navigate the legal system and get what it is that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-671-4100 today!