By Katharine Branham
With school back in session and the supply list crossed off, the crucial thing now is making sure all the fixings for a great lunch are stocked and ready to go. Let’s see lunchmeat, fruit, and juice-check-check and check. Now load it up in your lunchbox. WAIT! What kind of lunchbox? Don’t be stupid, if you are a parent I am sure you are aware of the big lunchbox recall for the reasons of high lead levels found. So what did you buy this year? A cute kitty, friendly superhero, or perhaps a non-traditional box from a high dollar store. Whatever it was that you purchased from a mass merchant it probably contains lead; you might have seen the term ‘Lead Safe’ somewhere on a tag dangling from the box along with made in China.
This is a great marketing tactic, while it says lead safe it is not lead free. That’s right gasp in shock, I did. The truth is those boxes still have lead just a lower amount. They have taken lead out of paint that goes on the walls and lead out of gas but should we be packing a lunch to be consumed by the unknowing victims that will pull a sandwich from it. I read on a site that if the box cost less than 10 dollars it has lead. Some of the companies perform their own test and, well how honest can they be with nobody is standing there to regulate them.
I called companies, talked with order takers and they have no written statement claiming their products are lead free. I searched the net for hours and found several organic and recycle site that have lunch box without that vinyl lining that are a great alternative and that are made here in the USA. Most of those sites were sold out on every bag my children wanted. I finally gave up in my search for a box for the kids so I thought how about using a sealed container that normally holds leftovers. I bought two that are able to hold an ice pack sandwich, fruit, and juice box. It’s great because nothing is getting in there or leaking out. As far as the rest of the parents that bought lunch boxes made in China, you might want to rethink it, they have been doing recalls on Dog food, cat food, toys, baby bibs and many other products so what would stop them from the use of cheap filler like lead in the children’s lunch boxes.
Here are a few sites I found helpful www.cehca.org and www.reusablebags.com