School Supplies May Be Silent Killers

School's officially in full swing around the country; parents need to check the safety of their kids' school supplies.

According to the article, "School Supplies Laced with Toxic Chemicals: Make Sure Your School Avoids These Products," by Robert Coleman, parents and schools should avoid the following types of products: crayons, markers, binders, and water bottles. In fact, they reference that a new study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, or USPIRG, found harmful chemicals in everyday school supplies.


> The study tested six brands of crayons for asbestos, the toxic building and insulation material that causes mesothelioma, a deadly cancer. One major brand, Playskool Crayons, had detectable levels of asbestos.


> USPIRG tested a number of markers for toxic volatile solvents such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, which are petroleum substances also found in fracking wastewater. EXPO scented and The Board Dudes dry erase markers had detectable levels of these harmful chemicals.


> Three binder brands were tested for phthalates, plastic-softening chemicals that have links to early puberty in girls and harm to the reproductive system. The brand that tested positive for phthalates was Jot 1-inch 3-ring binders, which are sold at Dollar Tree.

Water Bottles

> USPIRG also highlighted two water bottles that tested positive for lead and were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The two bottles in question were Base Brands Childrens Reduce Hydro Pro Furry Friends water bottle sold on Amazon and at Costco and the GSI Outdoors Kids insulated water bottles sold at L.L. Bean.

The amount of school supplies with toxic ingredients is alarming and should alarm anyone who cares about our kids' and the general public's safety. Communities need to better understand the chemicals that are being used in households, schools & businesses which inevitably end up in the ground and waterways, but people can best help by taking personal accountability of the products they consume or endorse.

If you are interested in learning more and staying in the know about unsafe products, follow the EWG Childrens Health Initiative site. Here you can find the latest breaking news and analysis on all things regarding kids health.

Reality Changing Observations:

Q1. Have you ever thought about what are in your children's school supplies?

Q2. Does knowing this information make you want to change the school supplies your children use?

Q3. What can you do in your local community to help remove these types of products from stores & schools?