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Group warns of toxic school supplies to avoid in California

Posted at 1:32 PM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 16:36:51-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- While most school supplies are safe, a California group is warning that some products contain toxic chemicals.

CALPIRG says out of dozens of school supplies tested, only a few contain things like asbestos and lead.

The organization says it tested things like markers, crayons, dry-erase markers, glue, three-ring binders, lunchboxes and water bottles.

The list below shows what products contain toxic chemicals:

  • Playskool crayons at Dollar Tree: This product was found to contain asbestos, which can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma. Asbestos has recently been found in other children’s products, such as makeup.
  • Water bottles: Recently, certain water bottles were found to contain lead, those brands include: Base Brands children’s Reduce Hydro Pro Furry Friends water bottle, once sold by Costco, and GSI Outdoors children’s water bottle, once sold by L.L. Bean.
  • Jot brand three-ring binders: These binders were found to contain phthalates. Phthalates can lead to birth defects, hyperactivity and reproductive problems.
  • Board Dudes brand markers: These products contain benzene. This carcinogen is linked to leukemia and disrupts sexual reproduction, liver, kidney and immune system function.

“Based on our testing, we know that most manufacturers make safe school supplies. We’re calling on the makers of unsafe products to get rid of toxic chemicals and protect American schoolchildren,” added Laura Deehan, CALPIRG Education Fund Director of Public Health.

CALPIRG says it’s often legal to sell products containing toxic substances, but there are things parents can watch for. The group says parents purchasing glue, markers, pencils, rulers, and crayons can look for the “AP” label, which lets consumers know that the product is non-toxic for children.

Products such as water bottles and lunchboxes don’t offer the AP label, but parents can keep an eye out for the “children’s product certificate,” which assures that the product has been tested by a third-party.

Click here for the full safe shopping guide.

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