Cartoon: March 24, 2015

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Lead in state lunchboxes

first_imgThe announcement came nearly two months after he was notified by the Sacramento County Public Health Department that lead had been detected in the lunch boxes through a swab test. Horton said his department began testing the containers, but decided not to notify the public until the results were in. “It wasn’t until we got more confirmation tests that we decided to take more aggressive action,” he said. The lunch boxes were distributed by T-A Creations of Los Angeles. Its vice president, Andrew Halim, said initial tests of the bag’s lining detected no lead. The bags were then sold to You Name It Promotions of Oakland, which sold them to the state. The containers – bearing the advisory “Eat fruits and vegetables and be active” – were given out at health fairs and other events to mainly low-income parents. SACRAMENTO – Health officials advised parents Thursday to discard Chinese-made canvas lunch bags distributed in a state healthy-eating campaign because they contain potentially dangerous levels of lead. After distributing more than 350,000 of the containers, the Department of Public Health found that three in a batch of 56,000 contained “significant” levels of lead. “It certainly is unfortunate that an item we’re using to promote healthy behavior is discovered to be in itself … a health hazard,” department Director Mark Horton said. “We will be reassessing our policy on the distribution of our promotional products.” Consumer advocates said it’s widely known that vinyl and canvas lunch boxes contain lead, and that an agency charged with protecting children’s health should have been more vigilant. sharmon@cctimes.com (916) 441-2101.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more