2005_11_health_lunchbox.jpg Remember when lunch boxes were made of metal? They weighed more than the food inside, could serve as excellent swingable weapons, and doubled as great action-figure carrying cases. But they also rusted, developed sharp edges, and made one wonder how safe they really were to transport your PB&J and Capri Sun. Thus you can understand Gothamist's surprise that health concerns are being raised with the wussier, newer generation of plastic lunchboxes that kids carry these days. Because of reports of increased levels of lead within a certain batch of boxes and subsequent pressure from New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, Fast Forward LLC, a NYC based distributor is offering full refunds to customers who may have bought the contaminated items. While there is only a "mild concern" that the increased lead will actually directly harm children, the larger worry centers around environmental effects when the boxes are thrown away. Customers can identify whether they've bought one of these lunchboxes by looking for a "Fast Forward" label inside and are encouraged to seek a refund provided they still have a receipt. Target and Wal-Mart have already removed from the boxes from their shelves statewide. Any childhood lunchbox memories of your own?

For further information on lead in lunch boxes, visit www.cehca.org.