School supplies: unwanted substances in supplies according to the UFC-Que Choisir

Potentially harmful kits. A week before the start of the new season, the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir warned Thursday against unwanted substances contained in some school supplies, especially felts or scented pens and glitter glue.

Endocrine disruptors and carcinogenic impurities

To reach these conclusions, the association tested 52 items commonly found in the schoolbag. According to the results, more than a third of products “are to be avoided and contain a sad anthology of undesirable substances,” she said in a statement.

Test #Supply #Solar Beanie for 1/3 of products with unwanted substances https://t.co/BUKv4GsxgH – UFC-Que Choisir (@UFCquechoisir) August 25, 2016

What is in these supplies? Phthalates (endocrine disruptors) in colored pencils and paper pencils, irritating formaldehyde in a stick of glue, carcinogenic impurities, preservatives or allergenic perfumes in inks.

Buying a brand name product is not necessarily synonymous with a guarantee: “it’s a Bic product that contains the most allergens and for ink cartridges, it’s at Waterman and Paper Mate that we found them highest levels of methylisothiazolinone, a particularly allergenic preservative “, says the UFC-Que Choisir.

No specific regulations for school supplies

Harmful substances can “be ingested when children nibble pens and pencils, or pass through their skin when they stain their fingers with ink or glue,” says the association.

Yet, she notes, apart from a mark of markers, “none of the products tested is in breach because they enjoy a regulatory situation as vague as lax” in the absence of specific texts for school supplies as there are for toys or nipples.

Also, beyond a request for immediate withdrawal of scented markers of the brand “Giotto Turbo scents” considered as non-compliant, the UFC-Que Choisir calls on the authorities to strengthen the regulation in order to “take into account the sensitivity of young consumers “. The association also recommends that parents “prefer the least risky items and discourages the purchase of felts or scented pens and glitter glue”.

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