Permanent felt-tip markers, rubber cement, spray fixatives, powdered clay and instant paper-mache are standard arts and crafts supplies found in many homes. All of these materials contain chemicals that are hazardous if inhaled, absorbed or swallowed. Children are especially prone to mishandling, chewing, sucking, inhaling or swallowing art materials and decorating their hands and face with them.
- SCRAP - School & Community Reuse Action Project - Portland
- Treasure Trove Consignment Shop - Vancouver
Dispose of as Solid Waste
For those materials that are not reusable, place them into your garbage container.
In order to choose safe art supplies to keep at home, for school projects or just for fun, consider the following tips:
Avoid. Aerosol sprays.
Substitute. Brushes and water-based paints in splatter techniques
Avoid. Epoxy glue, instant glue, airplane glue and solvent based adhesives.
Substitute. White glue, school paste or preservative-free wheat paste.
Avoid. Fiber-reactive dyes, direct (household) dyes and other commercial dyes.
Substitute. Natural dyes, such as dyes made from vegetables, onion skins, tea, flowers and other food dyes.
Avoid. Instant paper-mache (may contain asbestos fibers and lead from pigments in colored printing inks).
Substitute. Paper-mache made from black-and-white newspaper and library paste, white paste or flour and water paste.
Avoid. Oil-based paints, turpentine, benzene, toluene and other rubber cement and its thinner.
Substitute. Water-based paints, glues, inks, etc.
Avoid. Permanent felt tip markers (may contain toluene and other toxic solvents) or scented felt-tip markers which teach children bad habits about eating and sniffing art materials.
Substitute. Water-based markers.
Avoid. Powdered tempera paints, pastels, chalks or dry markers that create dust.
Substitute. Liquid tempera paints, crayons, oil pastels or dustless chalks.