From The Center for Environmental Health web site:
Since the summer of 2004, CEH has purchased and tested over 200 children's soft vinyl lunchboxes and found that many of them contained high levels of lead. Lead was usually found in the lining of the lunchboxes where it could come into contact with food. In addition to being a known carcinogen and reproductive toxin, lead is a neurotoxin that can cause health effects such as behavioral problems and hearing problems in children that are exposed to low levels.
As of the Fall of 2006, CEH has forced many companies to eliminate lead threats from their lunchboxes through legal action. Now brands such as InGear and Fashion Accessory Bazaar lunchboxes are lead-safe for children. However, if you have a vinyl lunchbox purchased before last Fall, CEH recommends you test it for lead.
Because it is difficult to tell by sight which lunchboxes contain lead, CEH is advising parents to buy products from companies that have committed to only sell lead-safe lunchboxes. If these are not available, we recommend that parents avoid soft vinyl lunchboxes altogether, or test their own lunchboxes at home.
Manufacturers/Retailers who agreed to change their products to be lead-safe include:
Fashion Accessory Bazaar
Accessory Network Group
Buy Baby Buy
To read more, click here.
My comment on this: notice that the products are not lead-FREE but lead-SAFE. That means there is lead in the products, but in a “safe” amount. What is exactly safe? Why can’t it be zero levels of lead?