|Back to School the PVC Free Way!|
PVC is one of the most toxic plastic on this earth, yet it is absolutely everywhere and especially in children's school supplies. Children are exposed daily at school to the carcinogenic phthalates released by PVC simply by using common everyday school products - things like PVC pencil cases, back packs, art smocks, raincoats, polymer clay, name sticker and labels, book & notebook covers, plastic sleeves, folders, erasers and even lunch bags. Have a look at our image of just a few of the various PVC products our children commonly use at school.
Most parents do not know how to recognize PVC products and many do not even realize that the plastic number code for PVC is no#3. Knowing this and how to recognize PVC products to some degree be sight, will go a long way towards lowering our children's daily exposure to this toxic plastic. Our article below will help you indentify PVC and find healthier PVC FREE school supplies for your children.
PVC is not always easy to recognize, but generally PVC is a pliable, softer plastic. It can be opaque, translucent, shiny or matte e.g see thevarious products in the picture above. PVC can also be quite a firm plastic e.g think Barbie Dolls and some harder plastic pencil boxes.
Another way to check if a product is PVC is to look for the PVC plastic logo, but again and unfortunately quite often, manufacturers of the above type of merchandise choose not label their products. The reason for this is simply becuase it is not considered necessary, as it is not required by law, due to the fact that the above pictured sort of products are neither food, nor medical grade products.
If you suspect PVC and there is no label on the product telling you what material the product is made from, then we advise to either look for an alternative product, or contact the manufacturer and ask what the product is made from before purchasing.
Another thing to be mindful of is that most transfers and emblems on kids clothing, bags, pencil cases etc are from made from PVC, as are many children's novelty stickers.
Moldelling Clay commonly used for art and craft projects can by something known as a Polymer Clay and these nearly always contains PVC . Polymer Clay's are especially dangerous when the clay is being fired in a kiln or baked in an oven, as it high temperatures the carcinogenic, phthalates and dioxins release more easily. We believe that ALL teachers should be pointed to our article and this VERY IMPORTANT article about clay - Polymer Clays are a Handful of Pthalates.
Here is a list of some of our favourite PVC FREE kids school supplies to help you shop for safer for your children.
PVC FREE ART SMOCK BRANDS
PVC FREE LUNCH BAGS AND BOXES and SANDWICH WRAPS
PVC FREE KIDS NAME LABELS
PVC FREE PENCIL CASES, STATIONARY & ARTS AND CRAFT
Book Covers, Notepads and Plastic Sleeves- Book Covers, Plastic Sleeves and Notebook Covers look for a safer and recyclable plastic such as Polypropylene (#no.5 PP).
When it comes to raincoats, art smocks, back-packs, school bags and pencil cases, you can avoid PVC by buying products made from 100% Nylon ( for waterproof products) or alternatively Cotton or Canvas.
Some other articles we have written on avoiding and recognizing PVC are
PVC PLASTIC TOYS THE GREAT HEALTH DEBATE
and another school article on PVC
PVC IN OUR KIDS SCHOOL SUPPLIES