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F.ood & H.ealth : C.ooking & P.acking Last Updated: Nov 12th, 2006 - 20:38:00

FDA warns lunch box makers about toxic lead
Jul 23, 2006, 17:18

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The US government found that soft lunch boxes with vinyl linings may contain lead, a toxic metallic element that can cause damages to the brain and believed to be particularly harmful to children.

The Food and Drug Administration have told lunch box makers to find better material for lunch boxes. But safety officials say there is no immediate danger associated with use of the lead-containing lunch box, suggesting that no acute effects would be experienced by the vinyllunch boxes contaminated with lead.

While it is unknown if use of the tainted lunch boxes would have a long term effect, The Consumer Product Safety Commission tested the vinyl lunch boxes and found that children would have to lick contaminated fingers 600 times a day for 15 to 30 days to get poisoned, meaning the lead contamination from the lunch boxes is nearly impossible.

The lead contamination of certain children's vinyl lunch boxes is not news. In August 2005, The Center for Environmental Health - an Oakland California based environmental health advocate- was filing a lawsuit against makers of retailers of soft vinyl boxes that can exposed children o harmful levels of lead. The organization claimed that some children's luncheon boxes contain dangerous levels of lead.

In addition to lead, consumers fear that soft vinyl plastic used for lunch boxes may also have other toxic chemicals such as p hthalates, which are widely used in cosmetics and personal care products, including perfume, hair spray, soap, shampoo, nail polish, and skin moisturizers. They are also used in consumer products such as flexible plastic and vinyl toys, shower curtains, wallpaper, vinyl miniblinds, food packaging, and plastic wrap, according to chemical.php?name=phthalates.

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