Lead in Backpacks

Problem: Vinyl backpacks, including backpacks for young children, may contain high levels of lead, which can wipe off onto children’s hands. Schoolchildren handle their backpacks throughout the day, including before eating, so lead in backpacks is a real health concern.

CEH Action: Following our work to eliminate lead threats from vinyl lunchboxes, CEH began testing vinyl backpacks, finding several leading brands with high levels of lead. We notified leading backpack makers and retailers of our findings and took legal action to rectify the problem.

Solution: CEH reached legal agreements with leading backpack suppliers, makers, and retailers, calling for strict limits on lead in the products.

What You Can Do: Avoid vinyl backpacks; look for nylon, cloth or other safer materials.