A report commissioned by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, along with the Empire State Consumer Project claims 75 percent of the back-to-school items they tested contained an elevated amount of a toxic chemical called phthalates.
Phthalates are toxins linked to asthma, obesity, diabetes and reproductive health issues in young children.
In 2008 the United States banned phthalates in the manufacturing of toys, but since back-to-school items do not count as toys, the chemicals are allowed. If they were considered toys, many items would be considerably over guidelines.
A Dora the Explorer backpack was found containing levels over 69 times the federal limit for toys. An Amazing Spider Man backpack with levels over 52 times the allowable federal limit. And a Disney Princess lunchbox with levels over 29 times what is legal in a toy are a few examples given by the health groups.
For more details, view the following link to the Center for Health, Environment and Justice: http://bit.ly/RhVxRj