As reported by the United States Public Interest Group:
Their three takeaways are:
1) Some of these school products contain toxic chemicals that have been recalled. The government mandates that products for children should have less than 100 ppm of lead. If your family owns a water bottle described in this Guide that has been recalled for having above 100 ppm, immediately stop using the water bottle and return it to the store.
2) Some of these school products contact toxics that, while not banned by the federal government, could possibly pose a risk to children. It is legal to have asbestos in crayons. However, scientists and government agencies point out that it is unnecessary to expose children to asbestos. Manufacturers selling asbestos-containing crayons should voluntarily recall the crayons and reformulate the ingredients. Similarly, it is legal to have phthalates in some back to school products, but scientists recommend that children not be exposed to high levels of phthalates.
3) Given that it is often legal to sell products containing these toxic substances, parents can do several things. First, look for the Art and Creative Materials Institute (ACMI) “AP” label, letting consumers know that the product is non-toxic. If there is no AP label, look for the manufacturer’s “children’s product certificate” on the product, which assures parents that the product has been tested in a third-party laboratory under government specifications. If neither of those labels is on the product, parents can reach out to the manufacturers and ask that they start using AP certification, or that they meet the requirements needed for a children’s product certificate.
We have the following recommendations:
* Dollar Tree and Playskool should recall the asbestos-tainted crayons and remove them from store shelves. They should also contact customers to warn them about the crayons.
* Dollar Tree and Jot should recall the 3-ring binder that contained high levels of phthalates and remove them from store shelves. They should also contact customers to warn them about the binders.
* The Board Dudes and Amazon should recall their dry-erase markers that contain benzene and remove them from store shelves.
* Policymakers should maintain the CPSC’s funding and authorities to protect the public and mandate the CPSC to regularly test more children’s products for toxic chemicals.
* Parents and teachers should look for the AP label posted on items by the Art & Creative Materials Institute (“ACMI”). For items not certified by the ACMI, parents should look for a manufacturer’s label certifying that the product meets CPSC guidelines for children.
* Parents should demand that manufacturers without a label start carrying a label, and that the products meet the safety guidelines.