Safer art supplies

Some crayons contain asbestos. That's a scary thought. Here are some tips for healthier and safer art.

  • "Non-toxic" means less toxic, but not completely safe. Look for AP or CP symbols.
  • If the label says Caution, Warning, etc., it's best to avoid.
  • Use a well-ventilated area if using vapors, sprays, mists, dusty chalk, etc.
  • Don't eat or drink at the same time as making art.
  • Don't use kitchen eating surfaces for art projects.
  • Watch young children who might put art materials in their mouths.
  • Wash hands when you're done.

Avoid oil paints and enamels. Gel acrylics can contain toxic ammonia stabilizers and formaldehyde preservatives.

The safest paints:
  • water-based watercolors
  • tempera paints
  • “non-gel” acrylics

Avoid solvent-based rubber cement, model glue, and epoxy.

The safest glues:
  • glue sticks
  • library paste
  • Elmer’s glue
  • adhesive tape
Crayons, Markers, & Pencils

Avoid paraffin crayons and alcohol-based markers.

The safest coloring:
Clay & Modeling

Avoid PVC-based Sculpey or Fimo clays

The safest clay:


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