Hey Kids, What's in the Inks of Those Pens and Magic Markers From China?


After reading and posting about the issues with toys made in China throughout the summer and into the fall I started thinking a bit about other means by which kids might be exposed to various contaminants during childhood, particularly through items they often use every day at school.

While most who’ve had the opportunity to visit a preschool or early grade elementary classroom have seen the children’s’ creativity, have they wondered, as I have, if those cheap pens and magic markers – possibly made in China – could be as hazardous as the Chinese-made toys?Admittedly, there have been no troublesome findings to date that I’m aware of; but we really haven’t had such a great run with manufacturers’ in that country substituting potentially lethal substances for non-lethal alternatives in toys, and these aren’t that far off on the production scale. I think my wife even bought a box of them for less than 50 cents recently at a local retailer, and I can’t see how the Chinese suppliers weren’t really squeezed on the deal...

But in any case I set out to do a bit of research, and unfortunately couldn’t come up with much on the topic. As I expected, the folks at places like Crayola claim their stuff is completely non-toxic, even if swallowed. And while I have no reason to doubt their claims in the least, I’m genuinely intrigued by what might be lurking in a marker or pen like the one that charming child above was probably chewing on before painting her friend or sibling with. After all, kids use magic markers and pens to create artistic masterpieces as though they were part of a full-contact sport.

Maybe a reader could point me in the right direction on this one?

See also:: Children Exposed to Everyday Chemicals Not Proven Safe

via:: A wee bit of personal thought...

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