Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

Beware of dangerous school supplies on the market

It's that time of year again. Soon kids across Connecticut will be sent out to the store by their teachers or school administrators to pick up a laundry list of school supplies that they'll need during the year.

While you may expect those products that are marketed for kids to be safe, they're often not. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Fun, Inc. just recently published a report of some different types of products you want to steer clear of while shopping.

Of 27 popular school supply items that they tested at an independent laboratory, a small handful came back as containing chemicals toxic to kids and humans of all ages.

One such item was a 3-ring binder. The one that they tested came back as manufactured with phtalate levels that exceeded Consumer Product Safety Commission recommended limits. Individuals exposed to phtalates have be shown to have a higher risk of suffering adverse medical events, such as birth defects.

Another item that the researchers found to contain something harmful was a pack of crayons. They were found to have been manufactured using asbestos, a naturally occurring and harmful mineral that can sometimes cause lung cancer or mesothelioma.

A pack of markers that the national non-profit tested also tested positive for the hazardous chemical benzene. Studies have shown that those who are exposed this carcinogen may develop auto-immune deficiencies and other medical complications on down the line.

Some products that tested as safe included plastic rulers, lunch boxes, spiral notebooks, water bottles and glue. The researchers also found that similar items made by one manufacturer was safe while ones produced by others were not.

Often times, the effects of exposure to toxic chemicals and other harmful products doesn't show up right away. Although this make proving exposure and contamination difficult to do, it's not impossible. In instances such as this, having a New Haven products liability attorney who will aggressively pursue your claim to the end is important.

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