Results in for March Badness Tournament for College Promotional Products
HealthyStuff.org, a website promoting research from Ecology Center, which released a study revealing that 71 percent of university-themed products sold at top retailers contained at least one toxic chemical, such as arsenic, bromine, cadmium, chlorine, lead and mercury, wrapped up its March Badness tournament to determine the most toxic college product. It unveiled the winner last week.
Even though the University of Connecticut and University of Kentucky faced off in the NCAA finals last week, each school had a product in the March Badness Shameful Sixteen. University of Kentucky toddler shoes from Target were found to be high in lead and chlorine with low levels of arsenic and bromine while the UConn can cooler from a local bookstore that was made in Mexico tested positive for PVC with high levels of chlorine, especially in the imprint. While the can cooler tested negative for phthalates, it also contained a medium level of tin as well as low levels of lead, arsenic and bromine. However, both were eliminated by more hazardous products in the Shameful Sixteen.
The worst of the worst also included an Oklahoma University beaded necklace from Walmart, a University of Arizona canvas chair from Home Depot and a Duke University tumbler from Walmart, but the final two came down to a matchup between two lunch bags—University of Florida and University of North Carolina—that were purchased from Walmart. After 2,000 voters filled out their brackets, the Florida Gators bag, which was manufactured in China, received the "Most Toxic Product" award with test results indicating high levels of lead and chlorine, as well as medium levels of cadmium.
"In college towns across America, March Madness brings with it a tremendous amount of excitement," said Rebecca Meuninck, environmental health campaign director for the Ecology Center and HealthyStuff.org. "Many of the universities represented in our study pride themselves on their efforts to green their campuses, but there's a disconnect when university-themed products contain harmful chemicals linked to diseases like certain cancers, thyroid disruption, infertility and learning disabilities."