This year when you send your kids off to school,
send them off in style and with safer PVC-free school supplies!
Back-to-School Guide to
PVC-Free School Supplies
The Center for Health, Environment and Justice | www.chej.org | August 2008
CHEJ does not endorse any of these products, manufacturers or retailers, nor provide any warranty of the appropriateness of listed products.
The Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ)
has created the Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School
Supplies to empower you to make smarter, healthier shop-
ping choices for your kids, family, and environment.
The guide lists the most common back-to-school supplies
made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) plastic and safer
Why Shop for PVC-Free School Supplies?
Children’s school supplies, such as lunchboxes, backpacks and binders, are
often made out of PVC – a plastic that is dangerous to our health and the environment.
The production of PVC involves the use of cancer-causing chemicals that contaminate
the air and water of surrounding communities. When PVC is manufactured or burned,
numerous dioxins are formed and released, a highly toxic group of chemicals that can
cause cancer, harm the immune and reproductive systems. Our bodies are contaminated
with these and other chemicals released during the PVC lifecycle. This may pose irrevers-
ible life-long health threats.
PVC is unique from most plastics because it contains toxic additives used to soften or sta-
bilize it. These harmful chemicals include phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins,
which may be toxic to your child’s health. They can leach out or evaporate into the air
over time posing unnecessary dangers to children. Children are at risk from even small
exposures to these toxic chemicals. That’s why it’s especially important to purchase
PVC-free school supplies.
How to Identify PVC,
the Poison Plastic
PVC products are often labeled
with the words “vinyl” on the pack-
aging, such as vinyl 3-ring binders.