Some time ago, we talked about the presence of lead in some soft vinyl lunchboxes. The topic came up again for me based on this GNM Parents post — apparently the Consumer Product Safety Commission statement I cited in my original post that essentially said "no big deal" may have been a slight, ah, misstatement.
From the Associated Press:
In 2005, when government scientists tested 60 soft, vinyl lunchboxes, they found that one in five contained amounts of lead that medical experts consider unsafe — and several had more than 10 times hazardous levels.
But that’s not what they told the public.
Instead, the Consumer Product Safety Commission released a statement that they found "no instances of hazardous levels." And they refused to release their actual test results, citing regulations that protect manufacturers from having their information released to the public.
I suggest you all get a home lead test kit (it’s a simple swab test) and check those lunchboxes. Most likely, they will be fine, but If you find yourself needing an alternative, seems to me a small fabric tote cooled with an icepack or a frozen juice box would work just as well.
Another option for kids who balk at the traditional sandwich/apple/string cheese combo: Zojirushi Mr. Bento. I’ve been eyeing this ingenious gadget for my husband for quite some time, and it’s on sale at Amazon through tomorrow ($39.99 instead of $64). The reviews there are impressive.
Other suggestions for alternatives to vinyl lunch boxes?