Are your children’s back to school supplies safe?

Make sure your children’s back to school supplies are safe & PVC free!

Did you know your child’s school supplies may be loaded with toxic PVC plastic? Go PVC-free this Back to School Season with their free guide.

The Center For Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) has created a Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies allowing parents and children healthier and safer options when it comes to choosing school supplies. CHEJ’s product list of PVC-free items include:

  • backpacks
  • binders
  • notebooks
  • lunch boxes, food wrappers & dishware
  • raincoats
  • shoes
  • art supplies
  • clothes
  • electronics
  • and more

Click here to download their free guide.

High Lead Levels Found in Toys … AGAIN!

Health Group Finds High Lead Levels in Toys
By Jennifer C. Kerr (AP Writer)

Children’s toys carrying the Barbie and Disney logos have turned up with high levels of lead in them, according to a California-based advocacy group – a finding that may give consumers pause as they shop for the holiday season.

The Center for Environmental Health tested about 250 children’s products bought at major retailers and found lead levels that exceeded federal limits in seven of them. Lead can cause irreversible brain damage.

Among those with high lead levels: a Barbie Bike Flair Accessory Kit (pictured above) and a Disney Tinkerbell Water Lily necklace. The group said it also found excessive lead in a Dora the Explorer Activity Tote, two pairs of children’s shoes, a boys belt and a kids’ poncho.

Read more from the Associated Press at

Toxic Toys: A Consumer Action Guide


Toxic ToyWith the holiday season upon us, many parents are justifiably concern about toxic toys. Holiday favorites, including Hannah Montana & Circo, are being found contaminated with high levels of toxic chemicals, including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and PVC! The good news is there is a consumer action guide now avaiable at where the Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization, released the results of their testing of 1,200 popular children’s toys for toxic chemicals

Working with environmental health groups across the country, the Ecology Center led the development of the site to inform consumers about products they will be purchasing this holiday season. Parents and other holiday shoppers can now easily search by product name, brand, or toy type to learn how the products rate in terms of harmful chemical content.

Toxic Toy“The government is not testing for toxic chemicals in toys, and too many manufacturers are not self-regulating, so we created the nation’s first toy database to help inform and empower consumers,” said Tracey Easthope, MPH, Director of the Ecology Center’s Environmental Health Project. “Ultimately consumers need to compel the federal government and toy manufacturers to eliminate dangerous chemicals from toys.”

Researchers chose to test these particular chemicals because they have been identified by regulatory agencies as problematic, and because of their association with reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, hormone problems and cancer and because they are found in children’s products. Babies and young children are the most vulnerable since their brains and bodies are still developing and because they frequently put toys in their mouths. The testing was conducted with a screening technology – the X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer – which identifies elemental composition of materials on the surface of products.

Toxic Toy“Toxic chemicals have no place in children’s toys, period,” said Ted Schettler, MD, Science Director at the Science and Environmental Health Network. “Even low-level toxic chemical exposures can have lifelong impacts. Getting toxic chemicals out of children’s toys is a moral and medical imperative.” tested 1,200 children’s products and more than 3,000 components of those products.

Following are highlights of the findings:

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Sustainable Holidays: Green Ideas, Lesson Plan, Safe Toys, and More.


eartheasy.comEartheasy: Sustainable Living‘s December Newsletter is full of ideas for a eco-friendly holiday season with the family, including the following:

Christmas Bird Count
Join over 50,000 people across North America in this annual tradition to take a ‘citizen census’ of migrating birds. Or you can create your own count as a way of getting outdoors and learning more about your local wildlife.

How to have a ‘green’ Christmas
Christmas does not have to be a burden on the environment. With a little effort and imagination, we can reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season.

Tips for sustainable giving
Gift-giving does not always have to come at a cost to the environment. Some of the most memorable and personal gifts cannot be found at the mall. Here are some ideas for low-impact giving.

All I want for Christmas are some lead free toys
It’s not just imported toys that carry harmful chemicals, but brand-name, U.S.-manufactured ones too. One organization is helping shoppers identify non-toxic toys.

Free energy lesson plans & activities
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy offers 350 downloadable lessons and activities on energy efficiency and renewable energy, organized by grade level and topic.

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Organic Cereals Recalled

Gerber Cereals Recalled Due to Choking Risk

All packages of Gerber ORGANIC Rice and ORGANIC Oatmeal Cereals have been voluntarily recalled due to a potential choking risk. A limited quantity of product may contain lumps of cereal, which do not dissolve in water or milk and pose a potential choking hazard. Gerber has received choking complaints, but no reports of injury. The FDA is aware of this recall.

The product has been distributed in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. If a consumer has Gerber ORGANIC Rice or Gerber ORGANIC Oatmeal Cereal, they should not use the product and call the Gerber Parents Resource Center 1-800-443-7237 or 1-231-928-3000 to return the product and receive a full refund. Read the rest of this entry »

Veggie Booty Recall

FDA Warns Consumers Not to Eat Veggie Booty Snack Food – Risk of Salmonella Contamination

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat Veggie Booty snack food, marketed by Robert’s American Gourmet, due to possible contamination with Salmonella Wandsworth, bacteria that cause gastrointestinal illness.

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Thomas the Train May be Toxic

Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Toys Recalled Due to Lead Hazard

I know Thomas the Train is a big favorite with many of the little ones, so it might be disappointing to hear that some of them are being recalled by the folks that make Thomas & Friends due to lead paint. There are 1.5 million of these wooden railway pieces in the toy boxes of our kids, so check and see if any of the ones your tot may be playing with is listed below. Read the rest of this entry »

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