Tag Archives | PVC the poison plastic

Back-To-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies

The back-to-school online marketing, TV commercials, and newspaper flyers have started and the more I see and read I can’t help but think…”let the greenwashing begin!”  Just because products are advertised as ‘green’ doesn’t necessarily mean they are and parents need to educate themselves on what school supplies are made from.  This year, I’m making an effort to not just stumble blindly through Office Depot trying to find everything on my back-to-school list and will be attempting to purchase non-PVC items and avoid polycarbonate plastics too (BPA plastic coded #7).  Beware of back-to-school greenwashing from companies marketing ‘greener’ school supplies and lunch containers. Ask questions before you buy. I’m so tired of seeing water bottles that appear to be stainless steel, but after picking them up and asking or emailing customer service departments, only to be told they are aluminum (hello Old Navy!!!).  Which is actually terrible because there are health problems associated from having your water in direct contact with aluminum. This is why manufacturers line tin cans with BPA so there is a barrier between the can and food (not that this is an ideal solution either).  When a water bottle looks like stainless steel and is only $4.99 in a store – ask why.  You’ll be surprised by the answer.

My goal is to eliminate PVC (the poison plastic) coded #3 from anything my boys will be putting into their back-packs heading into the classroom this September.  I’m hopeful this is possible because there are so many more options with school supplies this year. Still, it’s a major undertaking to research school supplies so I’m linking to the experts at the Center for Health , Environment, & Justice.  They’ve put together a fantastic guide call Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies. Have a read because this guide was put together August 2009 and is very current with great information. There is even a wallet printable guide to take with you while shopping called Back-To-School Wallet Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies.

If this is important to you I would recommend shopping early because items like 3-ring binders will be tough to find that aren’t made of vinyl. PVC is a known carcinogen and is toxic for human health. Let’s work together to remove it completely from schools.  Mommy Footprint is here to help with back-to-school litter-less (and non-toxic) lunch recommendations. I’ve been trying out some incredible products and will be writing about them over the coming weeks. A wonderful aspect of writing for Mommy Footprint is not only talking about chemicals I’m trying to eliminate from my children’s environment, but pointing parents in the direction to safe and more environmentally friendly products. I would never write a positive product review unless I love the product. I can’t wait to share products that are truly greener and safe to pack into your child’s back pack this school year.  And without the greenwashing. <grin>



PVC Items In Your Every-Day Life

A few weeks ago I wrote my first article highlighting the scary health effects from PVC plastic. Scariest fact from the article is that PVC is a known human carcinogen and has recently been linked to the development of autism. PVC ‘the poison plastic’ is the worst (and unfortunately the most widely used) plastic because it’s not recyclable and it does nothing but produce harmful dioxins from the start of it’s production until it ends up in the incinerator or landfill.  Not only is it terrible for the environment, but it has adverse effects to human health and is still used to produce many products that children or babies use in North America.  For this reason, I’m trying to bring awareness to household items, toys, etc., made from PVC and hope this article becomes a point of reference for parents so they can identify household items made from PVC plastic.  It’s important to note that some companies and countries (Europe) have produced alternatives to PVC, so you need to investigate before pointing fingers or panicking. 

I’ve checked with a few ‘environmental experts’ that are within my network (hello Twitter!) and can confidently share that PVC continues to off-gas or ‘leach’ toxins throughout it’s entire existence.  When a product made from PVC is first opened from packaging or purchased you notice a strong odor ~ this is a strong clue that it contains PVC.  What I’ve learned is just because the odor goes away or lessens, the item is still continuing to leach harmful chemicals.  Two ways besides scent to identify items made from PVC is to look for a V or 3 inside or underneath the universal recycling symbols. Of course, toy manufacturers and too smart to stamp V (for vinyl) or 3 (plastic that is not recyclable) with chasing arrows at the bottom of their toys because trust me, I keep looking.  Why would they want to tip off consumers that the toy is toxic?  Very frustrating.  You need to ask questions and if the retailer looks at you confused and can’t answer the question if it’s made from PVC, don’t purchase it.

I first realized the difference in PVC-free rain gear (rain boots, hats, gloves, jackets, pants, etc) last weekend when I stuck my nose into a rack of Puddle Gear products and couldn’t smell any odor and didn’t get my usual headache.  The Puddle Gear line is made PVC free and is a sweet new find!   When I stand next to traditional rubber boots or rain gear and it contains PVC, I can tell because I get a terrible headache instantly.  

On a daily basis I’m finding or thinking about more things in my home that surround my children made from PVC and want to create a master list.  I thank the following sites for supplying me with awesome information about PVC, worth a read if you want more information: www.watoxics.org, www.besafe.net, www.pollutioninpeople.org, and a pioneer watch-dog site site that holds companies accountable for producing harmful products www.zrecommends.com.

If you have any items that are not listed below, please add a comment to the bottom of this article and I will edit the post and add the item to this master list.  Yikes!  With summer quickly approaching – check out the category for outdoor items that are made with PVC – do you want your child sitting in an outdoor pool for hours that is leaching chemicals?


Cling Wrap
Shower Curtains
Bath Mats
Place Mat
Credit Cards
Pond Liners
Wall Coverings including wall paper, wall decals for nursery or kid’s rooms
Fake Christmas Trees
Strollers and Car Seats
Water beds
Labels and Stickers
Photo Album Sheets
Mattress Covers
Imitation Leather Furniture
Checkbook Covers
Cleaning product containers
Pet care product containers
Modeling Clay (Child Toy)

Apparel: Continue Reading →



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