It’s back-to-school season! That means that parents and children are buying school supplies in anticipation of the start of the school year.
Parents need to be aware, though, that a surprising number of common school supplies contain toxic chemicals that can harm their children. Playskool crayons available for purchase at Dollar Tree stores, for example, contain asbestos, which is a known cancer-causing agent. Some types of water bottles contain lead, which is harmful.
What to Buy, and What Not to Buy
How can you be sure the products you’re buying for back to school are safe? Fortunately, there are several ways to do this.
First, the Art and Creative Materials Institute (ACMI) places an “AP” label on non-toxic products to let consumers know they are free of toxic materials. However, manufacturers aren’t required to use the label, so lack of a label leads to some unclarity about whether the products is safe or not.
Second, if there isn’t an AP label, some manufacturers place the words “children’s product certificate” on the product. This wording, though, also isn’t required, so if a product doesn’t have it, parents can’t be sure if the product is safe or not.
Third, and most comprehensively, U.S. PIRG, a nonprofit dedicated to consumer safety, has recently placed a shopping guide to safer school supplies online. They have tested a wide array of back-to-school products for safety. The publication, Safer School Supplies: Shopping Guide, surveys not only products such as markers, crayons, dry erase markers, glue, 3-ring binders, spiral notebooks, lunchboxes, and water bottles, but brand names and the stores that sell them.
The guide also advises parents about safe alternatives to all the products.
Products May Be Toxic Although Legal
Parents may well wonder why material such as asbestos and lead are in their children’s school supplies. There are several reasons.
First, government mandates may not cover all toxicity. According to U.S. PIRG, for example, asbestos is legal in crayons. But it may well be unwise, whether it’s legal or not. As the U.S. PIRG says, the exposure is unnecessary, since there are safer alternatives. They recommend recall of asbestos-containing products and reformulation of the products without asbestos.
Second, some substances may be legal, but harmful to children at high levels. Products containing phthalates are legal, for example, but scientific studies have shown risks to children if phthalates are at a high level. The risks include hyperactivity and birth defects.
Third, recalled products are still on some store shelves. There is a Federal government regulation that children’s’ products should not have over 100 ppm of lead. But U.S. PIRG found some water bottles containing over this amount. It recommends taking the bottles back and obtaining a refund, immediately.
Product Liability Lawyers for New York and New Jersey
Companies who knowingly manufacture and sell unsafe products put consumers at risk. As a result, they can face product liability claims.
If you or your loved ones have been hurt by an unsafe product, call the experienced product liability attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. We have been fighting for the rights of victims of defective products for more than 40 years.
Call us today toll free at (888) 624-4916 for a free discussion of your case.
- Safe Shopping Guide for Back-to-School Supplies. News Release. U.S. PIRG. August 7, 2018. https://uspirg.org/news/usp/safe-shopping-guide-back-school-supplies
- U.S. PIRG Education Fund. Safer School Supplies: Shopping Guide. Executive Summary. August 7, 2018. https://uspirg.org/reports/usp/safer-school-supplies-shopping-guide
Product Liability occurs when the manufacturer or seller of a product puts a defective product in the hands of a consumer, and injury occurs. Dangerous or defective products are the cause for thousands of personal injury accidents in the United States each year. Responsibility for such injuries always lies in the hands of the product seller within the distribution chain of the particular product. This is possible through the “Product Liability Law.” The law states that a product must always meet the consumer’s expectations. When the product poses any sort of danger, or is clearly damaged, the product liability law kicks in to help the injured person recover any losses or damages caused by the accident. It is important to understand that there is no federal product liability law, as theories of such cases are based on state laws regarding negligence. The lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, and Graifman P.C. have extensive experience in cases of product liability, and can help fight for the case outcome you deserve.
An important step in any product liability case is understanding the specific defect of your product. For example, the product could have a design defect, meaning that the damage was present before the product was even manufactured, and a characteristic within the design of the product makes it unsafe. Another type of defect could fall under manufacturing. This means that an error occurred sometime during the product’s assembly in the factory or warehouse. A third type of defect your product could encounter is a marketing defect. Such situations could involve lack of safety warnings, mislabeling, or unclear instructions.
Product liability cases can be tricky, because there are a few instances where the defendant can stand their ground. For example, the defense can try to say that a product was altered after it left the manufacturer, placing the blame on the plaintiff. It is very important for the injured consumer to pay close attention to detail in this matter. They must take photos, save any and all documentation, and find the best possible representation to support their case. This is where the product liability lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, and Graifman P.C. come in to play. Their team of lawyers will stop at nothing to make sure you receive the representation you deserve.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a product liability accident, contact the attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, and Graifman P.C. They have the extensive experience and professional reputation to get you the results you deserve. Call today for a free consultation at (800) 711-5258/ (201) 690-7735/ (845) 459-0001.
The attorneys at the law firm of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. recently filed a lawsuit in a Rockland County Court against Campbell Soup Company, Inc., CSC Brands LP, and The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, LLC, after a plaintiff was injured when a bottle of V8 Fusion Juice exploded into her eye.
The July 2013 accident caused the woman severe personal injuries, requiring surgical repair. The plaintiff bought the juice from The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, LLC, located at 180 North Main Street, in New York City. CSC Brands LP is a subsidiary of Campbell Soup, which produced the juice.
The plaintiff suffered a detached retina and damage to her vision, among her injuries, and was obligated to pay significant amounts of money for medical care. Health care providers have informed her that certain injuries she suffered will be permanent.
The woman is seeking damages for strict product liability, failure to warn, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, negligence and compensation for her husband, who is also named as a plaintiff.
Manufacturers have a duty to supply products that are safe. Defective products can cause catastrophic injuries or even kill consumers. In this case, the top of the bottle was not reasonably safe and fit for its intended purposes, causing the explosion.
If a dangerous or defective product has injured you, you may be able to file a product liability claim for compensation for any damages. KGG lawyer Barry S. Kantrowitz assists victims and family members of dangerous products. Contact us toll free at (800) 711-5258 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our Rockland County personal injury attorneys or complete the form on this page to let our firm review your case.
KGG’s Corner: In August, Campbell Soup recalled products in five states after chicken broth soup cans were mixed with SpaghettiOs.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Rockland County Injury Lawyers