PVC is one of the most toxic plastics on this earth, yet it is absolutely everywhere and especially in children’s school supplies. This article addresses The Dangers Of Toxic PVC School Supplies and then below I have listed some alternative, safer, PVC FREE, school supplies
First let me explain why Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) is so toxic
PVC plastic is diabolical in it’s ability to harm and destroy the environment and all life forms, both in it’s production and disposal phases. It is a plastic that produces high levels of carcinogenic Dioxins, due to the fact is it made out of highly volatile Chlorine.
PVC also continually leeches out carcinogenic, hormone disrupting chemicals via direct contact and through off-gassing and this is thanks to the use of Phthalates, which are softening plasticizers. See more PVC Poison Plastic.
Children Receiving Daily Exposure To Toxic Phthalates In PVC Products
Each day at school children are being exposed to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) through constantly being surrounded by PVC products.
As mentioned above it is the Phthalates in the PVC that continue to leech out of the plastic that our children are being directly exposed to and this is why so many baby toy manufacturers have stopped using it. PVC continually leeches and especially when exposed to heat.
Read my article Toxic PVC Toys How To Avoid Them
Kids school supplies are commonly made out of PVC. Objects such as 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 the image to the left and you will see just a few of the various PVC products our children commonly use at school.
How To Recognize If A Product Is Made From PVC
Unfortunately in my experience, most parents do not know how to recognize PVC (also known as vinyl) products and through no fault of their own, as it is kept hush hush. People generally also do not understand just how toxic PVC is.
But now that you do know how dangerous it can be, let me help you to be able to identify PVC products as it will go a long way towards lowering your children’s daily exposure to this toxic plastic.
PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride), also known as just Vinyl, is a type of plastic, that can come in various forms and textures;
- PVC can be opaque, translucent, shiny or matte.
- PVC although usually more on the softer, more pliable side, can also be quite firm e.g think Barbie Dolls and some harder plastic pencil boxes.
- Another way to check if a product is made from PVC is to look for the PVC plastic logo or plastic number which is #3.
- Most transfers and emblems on kids clothing, bags, pencil cases etc are from made from PVC, as are many children’s novelty stickers.
Quite often, manufacturers do not disclose the type of plastic used to make their products. The reason for this is simply because it is not considered necessary, as it is not required by law. This is due to the fact that school supplies and toys are neither food, nor medical grade products.
If you suspect PVC I advise you to find a safer, alternative product, or contact the manufacturer and ask what type of plastic the product is made from.
Modelling Clay And PVC Dangers
Modelling 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.
PVC FREE Kids School Supplies
Below I have comprised a list of PVC Free school supplies to help protect both your kids and the planet.
PVC FREE ART SMOCK BRANDS
- Danica’s Studio
- Early Start Art Smocks by Micador Group
PVC FREE LUNCH BAGS AND BOXES and SANDWICH WRAPS
- Kids Konserve
- Graze Organic
- Keep Leaf
- Nude Food Movers
PVC FREE KIDS NAME LABELS & PVC FREE STATIONARY
- Emily Press Lables – One of the only PVC VINYL FREE clothing and naming labels I was able to find online.
- BuyEcoGreen has a great range of PVC free products
- Earth Greetings – eco friendly stationary and highlighter pencil and bamboo pens.
- Faber Castell and Staedtler both make PVC free pencil Erasers
PVC FREE Book Covers, Notepads and Plastic Sleeves
Look for a safer and recyclable plastic such as Polypropylene (#no.5 PP).
- The Tudor Eco Range – one of our favourites as is eco friendly and that is always a big plus. They have some really cute kids exercise books too.
- Earth Greetings – eco friendly notepads and books. They make a fabulous, eco-friendly range of stationary products.
- Protext Project Book Covers
- Spirax Hard Plastic Cover Notebook
- Raeco book covering plastic – made from polypropylene
- Contact Sticky Paper from Officeworks – made from polypropylene
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.
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