Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), today urged consumers to stop using lunch boxes, which have been distributed as CDPH nutrition educational items, after testing showed elevated levels of lead in three lunch boxes.
The canvas lunch boxes that showed elevated levels of lead were green with a logo reading EAT FRUITS & VEGETABLES AND BE ACTIVE. Approximately 56,000 of these lunch boxes have been distributed throughout California at health fairs and other events.
“CDPH will no longer use lunch boxes until such time as we are assured that every lunch box is safe. In addition to lunch boxes, we are assessing all of our health promotion items to ensure that they are safe,” Horton said. “We are urging Californians to not use these lunch boxes and keep them away from infants and young children.“
Individuals who have these lunch boxes should return them to the place where they got them, if possible, or take them to their local household hazardous waste (HHW) collection facility for disposal. Local HHW facilities can be found at one of the following Web sites:
The CDPH lunch boxes that tested positive for lead were obtained through a manufacturer, TA Creations, which has factories in Canton, China.
In addition to the lunch boxes that tested positive for lead, CDPH has used other lunch boxes as nutrition education items for the Network for a Healthy California Program and the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Although these lunch boxes have not shown elevated levels of lead, CDPH recommends consumers stop using and dispose of any CDPH lunch boxes and keep them away from young children as a precaution. CDPH is conducting additional testing on these lunch boxes. Approximately 300,000 lunch boxes have been distributed. All items are pictured below.
No known cases of lead poisoning have resulted from use of the lunch boxes.
For more information about lead poisoning, consumers are advised to contact their local childhood lead poisoning prevention program or public health department. Additional information and a list of local childhood lead prevention programs are available at CDPH’s Web site at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/Pages/CLPPBChildrenAtRisk.aspx