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
Accessory Network Group
Buy Baby Buy
Happy Lunch Packing!