Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Tips- Is Your Child's Lunch Box Toxic?

School is back in session, which leaves me wondering, how many kids are carrying toxic lunch boxes everyday? Back in 2005 the Center For Environmental Health released a study citing the high content of lead in many soft vinyl (pvc) insulated lunch boxes. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also conducted a study, but decided to not release all of it's findings. For they deemed wrapped food articles would be safe in a lead laden liner. Thanks, once again to our government for protecting corporations over our children.

Personally, I love the term "safe levels" and lead in the same sentence when it comes to my children's health.

Please don't fool yourself. Placing a lunch inside a box that is lined with PVC means, your child's hands and the food will come in direct contact with the material. Then they use their hands to eat, making ingestion of the hazardous materials through the skin and mouth. The concern with the material is that the exposure to the lead can be cumulative over a period of time, creating an opportunity for lead to build up in the body.

It's not too late to seek out alternatives. Mind you these recalls and information entered the market in 2005. Many companies have committed to producing "Lead Safe" lunch boxes. Personally, I feel rest assured when a label is marked Lead Free over Lead Safe. Plus, as you may recall, I'm not so big on PVC anyway. Also if you are concerned about a lunch box you may already own, at your local big box hardware store you can purchase a lead test kit, they are pretty inexpensive and user friendly.

In our home, we use a few alternatives and a couple traditional lunch boxes. Sj has a Scooby Doo soft sided lunch box, which is produced by ZAK!, they easy to find and are more commercialized than the other options. It came with a label stating LEAD FREE inside. Trust me, manufacturers want to boast the efforts they are making, if it doesn't say anything about lead safe or pvc free on the label, I would question it.

Crocodile Creek is sold at most Whole Foods, they are safe."Our Lunch boxes are child safe with lead-free linings and are PVC free and phthalate free. They conform to both U.S. and European safety standards as well as FDA recommendations." Their commitment to child safety.

Lastly, we are huge on Bento Lunches in our house. Click here and here to see our personal collection. Bentos are definitely a growing trend and a great way to use leftovers and provide a wide array of lunch options to your child. We don't own one yet, but as soon as Sj enters first grade, I will definitely be a proud owner of a Laptop Lunch Box. They are another company committed to your child's safety, making products that DO NOT contain phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), or lead. Now that is a company to support.

Here is a list of manufacturers making that Lead Safe commitment, source Center For Environmental Health:
Fashion Accessory Bazaar
Lisa Frank
Big Dogs
Accessory Network Group
Baby Universe
Buy Baby Buy
Romar Accessories
Silver Goose

Happy Lunch Packing!



  1. Ry loves his laptop lunchbox and it has inspired me to be more creative!

  2. I love that laptop lunch! We'll definitely look into that when Ms. E is ready for 1st grade. Her 1st day of school is next Tues! So exciting! :)

  3. I am always looking into doing Bento--I should make that my goal by next year.
    We have the Crocodile Creek lunch boxes but the laptop ones look like a lot of fun!

  4. Wahhhh I hate that wal-mart is the only shopping choice within a 70 mile radius. DIE WAL MART DIE!

  5. Oh I love how you're getting me ready ahead of time for all of this! :) We just got the new pottery barn kids catalog and I'm loving those backpack/duffel bag/lunch bag sets. Do you think getting them now when she's 8 months is overkill? hee hee.

  6. Ethan has been using an old soft-side lunch bag that I used when I worked, so it's probably not safe. Thanks for the list of companies that make safe lunch boxes.

  7. anglophilefootballfanatic.comAugust 26, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    Now I'm a bit freaked out. Mine's lunchbag is not plastic, but I'm a bit wigged out just the same.

  8. I am relieved my brothers are being home schooled this year and won't have to worry about having toxic lunch boxes.

  9. ack! I now have to see if the girls' lunchboxes contain lead. Thanks for such an informative post.

  10. great information as per usual, thanks

  11. And, I'm off to check Baby Puppy's lunch box!

  12. Really?

    Oh man, I am off to check out out lunch boxes. This is scary!

  13. Thanks so much for sharing this! I am so careful about everything, but never thought to worry about the lunchbox.

  14. Alright, clearly I've been under a rock, because I hadn't heard this AND hadn't heard about Bento Boxes.

    I now have about 16 tabs up in Firefox, though, so I'll be caught up soon! lol.

  15. I found out all L.L. Beans lunch boxes are PVC free too. It was the one with the pink flamingo that Lily was dying for so finally I can feel good about her lunch!


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