University-Themed Products Might Contain Hazardous Chemicals

by | Mar 21, 2014

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marchmThat March Madness shirt or trinket you’re displaying might contain chemicals already banned in other consumer products, according to a new report.

A new study found that 7 in 10 (71 percent) of university-themed products sold at top retailers contain one or more hazardous chemicals, including arsenic, lead, bromine, chlorine and mercury and cadmium.  Ongoing research at (a project of the Michigan-based nonprofit organization, the Ecology Center) on harmful chemicals in consumer products, reported the results.

Researchers found that products routinely exceed US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) standards for lead and phthalates (16 of 18 tested) in children’s products linked to serious health threats.

Over the last two months, the Ecology Center researchers tested 65 university-themed products for substances that have been linked to asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, reproductive problems, liver toxicity, and cancer.

Wallets, key chains, seat cushion, and sports jerseys and other products purchased at retailers including Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart were tested

  • 71 percent (46 of 65) of the products contained at least one or more chemicals of concern, such as lead, mercury, phthalates, and toxic flame retardants.
  • Over one third (25 of 65) of the products contained at least two or more chemicals of concern.

Many of the substances found in these products have already been restricted or banned in other consumer products.

Photo: bp6316 Flickr photostream


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