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Unfortunately, many manufacturers of school-related products deserve an "F" for selling items laced with chemicals that are linked to developmental and learning problems, among other ailments. Some of these products also take a toll on the health of our planet, adding to the mountains of trash and waste that strain our resources and releasing toxic chemicals that pollute air, water, and soil.

The good news is that parents, public health leaders, and advocacy groups have been calling for safer products - and marketers are listening. So there are more and more options for smart choices that protect your family's health. To help you navigate the sometimes confusing array of backpacks, book bags, lunch boxes, art supplies, and other educational accessories -- and separate the truly healthful from the overly hyped --'s editors have compiled this unique shopping guide to the healthiest, safest, kid-friendliest options on the market today.

Based on extensive research and interviews and advice from child health experts, environmental specialists, and concerned parents, Rodale's Nontoxic Back-to-School Shopping Guide covers more than 150 specific products, provides dozens of creative ideas for materials and sources, and offers important guiding principles for evaluating other items you may find on your own. It's the ultimate handbook for equipping your kids to have a safe, healthy, nontoxic school year!

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