April 23, 2007

lead for lunch

When I first heard about the possibility of lead in lunchboxes and bags I didn't imagine it would be in OURS. But it was! I had heard about the Center for Environmental Health's report stating that many lunchboxes and bags contain lead, which can them leach into foods. I was curious about it, since at the time I was frequently using our soft, insulated lunch bags to carry around food for my kids. These kinds of lunch bags come in a variety of styles.

After reading the report, I picked up a lead test kit from the local hardware store. It is an incredibly easy test - just swab a special little marker on the bag according to the test directions. Sure enough, one of the bags contained lead!! The CEH will accept by mail any bags found to have lead in them, so they can add the style to their database and warn other parents.

Many manufacturers are now developing bags without lead (there is no need for it to be there in the first place.) The only way to be sure if the bag is safe is to test it yourself. Also, stay clear of bags containing PVC. I'll be posting on that soon!

Reusablebags.com has lots of great vinyl-free lunch bag options, including some that are insulated. I love the look of the Basura Bag. It is made by a wonam's co-op out of recycled juice boxes. Each one is original (and lead free). There are lots of other fantastic options as well.

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