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High levels of toxic phthalates, which are banned in toys and are associated with birth defects, ADHD, obesity, behavioral problems and asthma, have been found in 75% of children's back-to-school supplies, a new report issued by the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, the Empire State Consumer Project, and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). School supplies were tested in a laboratory, and even seemingly harmless products, such as Dora, Spiderman and Disney branded lunchboxes, rainboots, raincoats, backpacks, and 3-ring binders were found to have elevated levels of phthalates.
There is serious concern about the long-term consequences for children's health. These toxins are banned from usage in children's toys, and many wonder why they have been allowed in other kids' products.
The new report, authored by Mike Schade, is titled "Hidden Hazards: Toxic Chemicals Inside Children's Vinyl Back-to-School Supplies".
"Our investigation found elevated levels of toxic phthalates widespread in children's school supplies, including Disney and Spider-Man lunchboxes and backpacks. These dangerous chemicals manufactured by Exxon Mobil have no place in our children's school supplies.
Unfortunately, while phthalates have been banned in children's toys, similar safeguards don't yet exist to keep them out of lunchboxes, backpacks and other children's school supplies. It's time for Congress to move forward and pass the Safe Chemicals Act to protect our children from toxic exposure."
Judy Braiman, from the Empire State Consumer Project, said "It is disturbing that millions of young children are being exposed to these toxic chemicals with no enforcement to protect them."
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), who was present when the report was released, said:
"School supplies are supposed to help our children with their education, they shouldn't be harming their health. We don't allow high levels of these toxic chemicals in children's toys and we certainly shouldn't allow them in back-to-school products. When kids take their lunch to school this fall, they shouldn't be carrying it in a lunchbox laden with anything other than a nutritious meal, packed by mom."
In a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget, Schumer stressed the importance of classifying phthalates as "chemicals that present or may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment." Schumer co-sponsors the Safe Chemicals Act.
Robert Jackson, a Council Member and Chair of the Education Committee said that as parents, family members of schoolchildren, and teachers, we cannot go on allowing dangerous chemicals to contaminate our children's school supplies. He added that phthalates have been linked to serious chronic diseases and conditions, including cancer, obesity and asthma.
Tuesday, September 4 2012, 12:31 PM CDT
Hungry TennCare eating more of state budget
May 24, 2013 16:56 GMT
JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) -- State Treasurer David Lillard says expanding health care costs could absorb funding the state used to spend on other needs.
The Jackson Sun (http://bit.ly/16eqTpT ) reported Lillard talked about the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act on Tennessee finances as he spoke to the West Tennessee Association of Health Underwriters on Thursday.
Lillard noted the state budget that goes into effect July 1 contains $391 million in new revenue and more than $300 million of that will be consumed by TennCare.
Lillard said support for higher education could further erode as a result. In 1990, state revenue funded more than half the cost of state universities. That percentage has already declined to about 38 percent and could be further reduced.
Information from: The Jackson Sun, http://www.jacksonsun.com
Asia stocks extend losses after big sell-off
BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stocks continued to retreat today after being routed the day before by unexpectedly weak Chinese manufacturing and fears the Federal Reserve will start withdrawing its monetary stimulus.
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
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