Ok, so I don't quite yet have to enter the back to school fray. But I know a lot of you out there do, whether or not you're caring for a little one or shopping for yourself. Hooray for lead-free stuff!
(Oh, and while we're celebrating, HOORAY for passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act!! Usually I wouldn't be so excited about any bill that Bush signs, since we know that his double speak means that the Clear Skies Act= Coal-Spewing Protection Act, etc. But this is the strictest law in the world, banning lead and phthalates in products for kids under 12. Trustworthy people were excited, so I am, too.)
It's kind of mind-boggling that there's still so much lead out there to get onto hands and into mouths, eyes, noses, etc. But as long as there's PVC, there will be lead in it to stabilize it, and voila. Your daily dose of neurotoxin.
But there are alternative materials out there that are great. The Center for Health, Environment and Justice did a great job compiling some sources for back to school gear. The usual suspects are on the list (Ecobags, Fleurville) and some surprise big names (Targus, Nike) to make shopping easier.