New York Sen. Charles Schumer is advocating for the Senate to pass the Safe Chemicals Act after a report revealed popular school supplies contained “elevated levels” of harmful chemicals.
The Center for Health, Environment and Justice and the Empire State Consumer Project commissioned the report that found 75 percent of backpacks, three-ring binders and lunch boxes contain phthalates, a group of harmful chemicals. The chemicals are banned in children’s toys.
Schumer is calling on the Office of Management and Budget to create a list of harmful chemicals that would include phthalates. In a press release, Schumer said, “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 toxic chemicals.”