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Hidden HAZARDS

Health Impacts of Toxins in Polymer Clays

[Executive Summary and References] VPIRG Jul02

[Full 34 PDF document at VPIRG]

Susanne Miller, Environmental Health Advocate
Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Inc.

Executive Summary

Polymer clays are a form of modeling clay that have become popular in recent years among children, adolescents and adult craftspeople. They are inexpensive, come in a variety of colors, are soft at room temperature, can be molded by hand into small or large items, and can be baked in a conventional oven at low heat, resulting in a permanent hard object. Fimo and Sculpey are the most common brand names of polymer clays in the U.S., but other different product lines exist. Unfortunately, these clays contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) mixed with phthalate (pronounced tha- late) plasticizers. While the phthalate plasticizers make the clay soft and workable, they are also associated with potential health risks. Phthalates as a class of chemicals have been implicated in birth defects, reproductive problems, nerve system damage and other negative health effects.

VPIRG’s research indicates that children and adults using polymer clays may be exposed to phthalates at harmful levels. Even when clays are prepared following proper package directions, children and adults can breathe or ingest high levels of phthalates. In addition to phthalate exposure the research indicates that when polymer clay is overheated enough or accidentally burned, the PVC will break down and release highly toxic hydrochloric acid gas.

The potential for exposure to phthalates from normal use of polymer clays is troubling given the popularity of the clays both at home and at schools, the inadequacy of consumer warnings about the effects of these chemicals, and the effects phthalates may have on children. Moreover, since the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act does not require pre-market testing for new industrial chemicals, and because it is difficult to restrict the use of existing chemicals in commercial products, exposure to phthalates is cause for concern. VPIRG recommends that consumers avoid using polymer clays and calls on the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to recall or suspend sale of polymer clays until they are shown to be safe for use by children and pregnant women. If the products remain on the market – VPIRG calls on manufacturers to provide adequate warnings to consumers as to why they should avoid use of the products or take special precautions when using them. Finally, state Attorneys General should investigate the claims by manufacturers that the clays are “non-toxic.”

Health Risks of Phthalates

Phthalates are associated with a diversity of negative health impacts including reproductive defects, birth deformities, liver and thyroid damage, neurological impacts as well as miscarriages. At least one phthalate is listed as an EPA probable human carcinogen. The following list illustrates the health risks of some different phthalates:

To date, only a few phthalate compounds are assumed to present the most significant exposure risk to humans. DEHP used in medical devices, and DINP used in children’s toys, have been the subject of much focus because they have been used in higher volumes than other phthalate esters. But regulators have significantly underestimated the general public’s exposure to other phthalates and combinations of phthalates in consumer products, and therefore have not comprehensively studied them. This is especially true for the phthalates found in polymer clays.

For example, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) panel assigned to study the risks phthalate exposures posed to human reproductive health suggested that BBP was of only “minimal” concern for reproductive effects in humans because exposures in adults were assumed to be low -- around 2 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. Yet VPIRG’s research shows that a 20 kg (44 lb.) child using 100 grams of polymer clay could be exposed to as much as 130 times the 2 micrograms per kilogram of body weight of BBP the panel identified as normal daily exposure after only 5 minutes of play.

Moreover, recent evidence indicates that phthalate exposures are ubiquitous among the general population in the U.S. and, in some cases, higher than previously thought. Recently, CDC analytical chemists, analyzed thousands of urine samples from all over the U.S. and found multiple phthalate metabolites in all samples tested. These metabolites included less common phthalate esters. The CDC team theorized that the residues of these phthalate compounds may result from their presence in consumer products.

VPIRG’s Findings

VPIRG sent samples of Sculpey and Fimo polymer clay products purchased from local stores in Montpelier, Vermont to laboratories for both compositional analysis and exposure analysis.

Compositional Analysis

Laboratory testing of the clays by Philips Services (PSC) in Ontario Canada revealed that mixed phthalates made up between 11 and 14% of the total contents of each of the Fimo samples. The Sculpey samples each contained between 3.5 and 4.4 percent mixed phthalates. \ The Fimo clays appeared to contain mostly DnOP, DnHP, DEHT and an unknown phthalate ester (named Unknown #2 by the lab) that strongly resembled DEHP. The Sculpey clays appeared to contain mostly BBP, and a mixture of DnOP and DEHT. Both brands of clays also contained significant amounts of several other phthalate compounds the lab was unable to positively identify using the customary phthalate standard.

Exposure Analysis

VPIRG commissioned the Environmental Quality Institute (EQI) at the University of North Carolina-Asheville to assess human exposure to phthalates when polymer clays are used according to packaging directions. Researchers at the lab, specializing in realworld environmental exposure assessment prepared and baked clay samples following the manufacturers’ directions, and measured releases of phthalates in the air and residues of phthalates on users’ hands.

The EQI lab found that, when prepared as directed, polymer clays could expose children and adults to significant concentrations of phthalates, including BBP, DnOP, and DnHP, from both handling the clays and breathing in

air contaminated with phthalates during the baking process.

Inhalation Exposure

Regulatory agencies have not set allowable inhalation levels for the phthalates found in the polymer clays tested (BBP, DnOP, DnHP, DEHT). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has however, established an eight-hour standard for adult workers’ exposure to DEHP and DEP, at 5 milligrams per cubic meter of air. Using this standard as a measure for comparison, inhalation testing showed that Fimo Lavender could result in phthalate exposures (to both BBP, DnOP/DEHT mix, and to unknown #2) twice this high at 11 milligrams per cubic meter. The average phthalate exposure from the clays other than lavender measured 2 milligrams per cubic meter – an amount that closely approaches the 5 milligram per cubic meter OSHA standard for adult workers when we consider that this standard is an adult standard only, and children are the primary users of polymer clay.

It is troubling that the average exposure to phthalates so closely approaches the OSHA standard because those exposed to phthalates are likely to be children. Children’s bodies are much smaller and more vulnerable to outside factors than adults’ bodies; they breathe more air per body weight than adults and are therefore exposed to more air contamination. The OSHA standard was created for adult workers, and the 5 milligrams per cubic meter OSHA standard is not likely to be adequate to use as a measure for phthalates exposure in children. For comparison, Federal pesticide law mandates setting an exposure limit for children ten times lower than the limit for adults if comprehensive testing data are not available (as is the case with phthalates).

Ingestion Exposure

Phthalate residues left on a user’s hands and ingestion levels were estimated using the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s assumption that fifty percent of material deposited on hands will be ingested by a child. Since regulatory agencies have not set standards for phthalate ingestion, state drinking water standards were used to compare the exposure levels found in the study. The results showed that a child who played for 5 minutes with 100 grams of five of the clays tested could exceed the maximum daily exposure level for the phthalate, BBP, allowed under Florida’s drinking water limit. Every single clay tested resulted in exposures exceeding Minnesota’s drinking water standard for BBP.

Cumulative Exposure

EQI’s analysis likely underestimates the potential phthalate exposures for many children using polymer clays. The researchers measured exposures for only four of the eight separate phthalate compounds identified in the clays. Further, while EQI researchers estimated exposures based on the use of 100 grams of clay, actual preparation of these clays may involve far larger quantities. Various polymer clay “recipes” include concoctions that demand about a pound (~450g) or more of polymer clay material. A child following a recipe for a onepound project could be exposed to nearly five times as much phthalates as projected by the EQI analysis.

Moreover, this study has focused on the implications of exposure to only a few phthalate compounds. Simultaneous exposures to multiple related phthalate esters can easily take place through the routine preparation of polymer clays. This repeated exposure could have a cumulative impact that is not yet fully understood.

Unsatisfactory Consumer Warnings

Rather than warning consumers about phthalates in polymer clay products, packaging on polymer clays actually advertises the products as “environmentally friendly” and “non-toxic.” These misleading labels are based on the assumption by the Arts and Creative Materials Institute (ACMI), the organization

approving the non-toxic label, that polymer clays only contain a few phthalate esters. However, VPIRG’s research shows that polymer clays contain phthalates other than those the ACMI considered. Non-toxic certification was granted to polymer clays even though not all the chemicals found in polymer clays were studied for health impacts. It should be noted that the ACMI is a consortium of art and craft material manufacturers.

Inadequate Federal Regulations

Because the U.S. regulatory framework does not require pre-market testing for new industrial chemicals before they are used in the marketplace, and it is difficult to restrict use of existing chemicals, many harmful chemicals end up in consumer products. Of over 80,000 chemicals used in the marketplace today, the vast majority are untested for human health impacts. This is alarming because consumers may be exposed to chemicals like phthalates on a frequent basis without knowing what the health impacts from exposure may be.

Recommendations

In response to the results of these tests, VPIRG makes the following recommendations:

The Poisoning of an Alaskan teacher

On October 17, 2000, an elementary school teacher in Alaska suffered acute health problems after walking into a room where Sculpey clay (Sculpey III-blue color) had over-heated when left overnight in a kitchen range. The teacher suffered from headaches, vomiting, fatigue, chest pains, finger numbness, dizziness, a stumbling gait, and other problems. He had to go to a hospital emergency room after suffering from this exposure.

The state of Alaska’s occupational health division found that the teacher was exposed to potentially harmful chemicals. It determined that hydrogen chloride and two phthalic acid esters – DOP (Di-octyl phthalate) and BBP -- were “likely products of thermal decomposition.” (Thomas E. Stuart, Jr., chief, Alaska Occupational Safety and Health, letter, February 23, 2001)

As part of the investigation, the agency conducted a pyrolytic decomposition study at the OSHA Technical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to the inspection report, “during thermolytic decomposition at approximately 300 degrees F, two phthalate esters (DOP and BBP) volatized from the polymer clay and appeared in the off-gas stream. As the temperature increased to 482 degrees F the production of hydrogen chloride accompanies the volatilization of the phthalate esters.” (Alaska Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health, “Inspection Narrative,” Inspection No. 303694269, January 8, 2001)

The determination that DOP and BBP were the principal phthalates released by overheating the Sculpey modeling clay are consistent with VPIRG’s finding that these two compounds are the primary plasticizers present in samples of Polyform Products’ Sculpey brand.


References

1. The Consumer Product Safety Commission should immediately recall polymer clay products containing phthalates until all ingredients in the clays have been comprehensively tested and shown to present no risk to health (including effects of exposure to combinations of phthalates, effects of exposure on children and the developing fetus, and effects of long-term exposure). There is no necessity for these products, alternatives are available, and scientific evidence suggests potential harm to kids; further sale and use should be suspended until government regulators understand the potential for harm.

2. If a recall or suspension of sale is not issued, manufacturers should be required to provide clear, prominently displayed warning labels describing potential health effects and directing pregnant women and children not to use polymer clay products. Others should be warned to strictly limit contact by wearing gloves when manipulating the product and to limit inhalation by staying out of the kitchen for several hours after baking is finished and to actively ventilate the room during and after baking.

3. The regulatory process for synthetic chemicals should be re-considered. Manufacturers should not be able to put chemicals on the market without comprehensive health studies showing with reasonable certainty that no health risk is anticipated. Those phthalates that are studied in depth show the potential for serious health impacts on exposed individuals, and little information exists about many related compounds. Weak policies in the U.S. fail to mandate common-sense testing for health effects or potential exposure when a new chemical or new use of a chemical is introduced to the market. This failure gives rise to citizens’ inadvertent exposure to potentially dangerous substances without their knowledge or consent.

4. State attorneys general should investigate manufacturers’ claims that polymer clays are ‘non-toxic.’ Claims of non-toxic status should be viewed as false advertising where no assessment of real-world exposures or impacts have been completed, and where phthalates present in clays have been found to have deleterious effects in animal studies. If the AP Non-Toxic certification is based only on assessment of the four esters identified by Dr. Stopford (proven by this report to be an incomplete list), it appears deficient, incomplete and misleading.

References

1 L. Bernstein, “Polymer Clay: A new and versatile medium”, American Artist, October, 1998.

2 ATSDR Toxicological Profiles for DEHP, 1993, see http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs9.html

3 US Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Toxicology Program, Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR), Expert Panel Report on DEHP, p. 87, 92, October 2000. US Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Toxicology Program, Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR), Expert Panel Report on DINP, p. 26, 29, October 2000.

4 USEPA, Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), DEHP, see www.epa.gov/iris/search.htm; ATSDR, Toxfacts for DEHP, April 1993, see www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts9.html

5 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1988 Permissible Exposure Limits for DEHP, see http://www.cdc.gov/niosh

6 L.E. Gray Jr., J. Ostby, J. Furr, M. Price, D.N. Veereamchaneni, and L. Parks, “Perinatal Exposure to the phthalates DEHP, BBP and DINP, but not DEP, DMP or DOTP, alters sexual differentiation of the male rat,” Toxicological Science, 58(2), p. 350-365, December 2000. J. Ostby, M. Price, J. Furr, C. Lambright, A. Hotchkiss, L.G. Parks, and L.E. Gray Jr., “Perinatal Exposure to the phthalates DEHP, BBP, and DINP but not DEP, DMP or DOTP, permanently alters androgen – dependant tissue development in Sprague-Dawley rats,” Biological Reproduction, 62 (1), p. 184-5, 2000. J.C. Lamb, R.E. Chapin, T. Teague, A.D. Lawton, J.R. Reel, “Reproductive Effects of Four Phthalate Esters in the Mouse,” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 88(2), p. 255-269, 1987.

7 USEPA, Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), BBP, see www.epa.gov/iris/search.htm

8 A.H. Mann, S.C. Price, F.E. Mitchell, P. Grasso, R.H. Hinton, J.W. Bridges, “Comparison of short term effects of Di (2 ethylhexyl) phthalate, Di (nhexyl) phthalate, and Di (noctyl) phthalate in rats,” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 77(1), p. 116-132, 1985. R.H. Hinton, F.E. Mitchell, A. Mann, D. Chescoe, S.C. Price, A. Nunn, P. Grasso, J.W. Bridges, “Effects of Phthalic Acid esters on the liver and thyroid,” Environmental Health Perspectives, (70), p. 195-210, 1986.

9 J. Doull, C.D. Klaussen, and M.D. Amdur, Cassarett and Doull’s Toxicology, (2nd Edition). New York, Macmillan Publishing Co., p.549, 1980. F.S. Mallette, and Von Hamm, Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Medicine, 6(231), 1952. L.E. Milkov et al, “Health status of workers exposed to phthalate plasticizers in the manufacture of artificial leather and films based on PVC resins,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 3, p. 175-178, 1973. See also, National Toxicology Program Health and Safety Package for BBP, http://ntp-server.niehs.nih.gov/Main_Pages/Chem-HS.html

10 B. Blount, M. Silva, S. Caudill, L. Needham, J. Pirkle, E. Sampson, G. Lucier, R. Jackson, and J. Brock, “Levels of Seven Urinary Phthalate Metabolites in a Human Reference Population,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 108(10), October 2000. M.C. Kohn, F. Parham, S.A. Masten, C.J. Portier, M.D. Shelby, J.W. Brock, L.L. Needham, “Human Exposure Estimates for Phthalates,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 108(10) October 2000. Raloff, Janet, “New Concerns about Phthalates,” Science News, Sept. 2, 2000.

11 J.W. Brock, S.P. Caudill, M.J. Silva, L.L. Needham and E.D. Hilborn, “Phthalate Monoester Levels in the Urine of Young Children,” Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 68(3), p. 309-314, 2002.

12 B. Blount, M. Silva, S. Caudill, L. Needham, J. Pirkle, E. Sampson, G. Lucier, R. Jackson, and J. Brock, “Levels of Seven Urinary Phthalate Metabolites in a Human Reference Population,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 108(10), October 2000. M.C. Kohn, F. Parham, S.A. Masten, C.J. Portier, M.D. Shelby, J.W. Brock, L.L. Needham, “Human Exposure Estimates for Phthalates,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 108(10) October 2000. Raloff, Janet, “New Concerns about Phthalates,” Science News, Sept. 2, 2000.

13 KEMI, Guidance on the rules applying to phthalates in toys and other articles for small children, National Chemicals Inspectorate (Sweden), May 2000, http://www.kemi.se/publikationer/pdf/toys.pdf .

14 USEPA, Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), BBP, see www.epa.gov/iris/search.htm

15 D.K. Agarwal et al, Toxicology, 35 (3), p. 189-206, 1985.

16 The British Industrial Biological Research Association, “A 21 Day Feeding Study of BBP to Rats: Effects on the Liver and Liver Lipids,” EPA Document No. 40+8626201, 1985.

17 LE Gray Jr., J. Ostby, J. Furr, M. Price, D.N. Veereamchaneni, and L. Parks, “Perinatal Exposure to the phthalates DEHP, BBP and DINP, but not DEP, DMP or DOTP, alters sexual differentiation of the male rat,” Toxicological Science, 58(2), p. 350-365, December 2000. J. Ostby, M. Price, J. Furr, C. Lambright, A. Hotchkiss, L.G. Parks, and L.E. Gray Jr., “Perinatal Exposure to the phthalates DEHP, BBP, and DINP but not DEP, DMP or DOTP, permanently alters androgen – dependant tissue development in Sprague-Dawley rats,” Biological Reproduction, 62 (1), p. 184-5, 2000.

18 M.V., Aldyreva et al, “Gig Tr Sostoyanie Spetsificheskikh Funkts Rab Neftekhim,” Khim Prom-STI, p. 154-9, 1974. Health Impacts of Toxins in Polymer Clays page 31

19 M. Ema, A. Harazono, E. Miyawaki, Y. Ogawa, “ Characterization of developmental toxicity of mono-n-benzyl phthalate in rats,” Reproductive Toxicololgy, 10(5), p. 365-372, Sept/Oct 1996. M. Ema, R.Kurosaka, H.Amano, and Y.Ogawa, “Comparative Developmental Toxicity of BBP and DBP in rats,” Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 28(2), p.223-228, 1995.

20 J.Doull, C.D. Klaussen, and M.D. Amdur, Cassarett and Doull’s Toxicology, (2nd Edition). New York, Macmillan Publishing Co., p. 549, 1980. See also, National Toxicology Program Health and Safety Package for BBP, http://ntpserver. niehs.nih.gov/Main_Pages/Chem-HS.html

21 R.E. Gosselin, H.C. Hodge, and R.P. Smith, Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, (5th Ed.) Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 1984.

22 L.E. Milkov et al, “Health status of workers exposed to phthalate plasticizers in the manufacture of artificial leather and films based on PVC resins” Environmental Health Perspectives, 3, p. 175-178, 1973. See also, National Toxicology Program Health and Safety Package for Butyl Benzyl Phthalate – http://ntp-server.niehs.nih.gov/Main_Pages/Chem- HS.html

23 F.S. Mallette, and Von Hamm, Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Medicine, 6(231), 1952

24 See, National Toxicology Program Health and Safety Package for BBP, http://ntpserver. niehs.nih.gov/Main_Pages/Chem-HS.html

25 Timofievskaya LA, Gig Sanet 8(91), 1982. Taken from the Hazardous Substance Data Base (HSDB) at http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov

26 USEPA/ECAO; Atlas Document for : Phthalate Esters p. VI-1 (1980) taken from the Hazardous Substances Data Base (HSDB) at http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB

27 USEPA, Four Final Mutagenicity Reports Regarding Phthalate Esters, Hazleton Biotech Co., Source EPA OTS; Doc #40-8626225. 2000.

28 R.H. Hinton, F.E. Mitchell, A. Mann, D. Chescoe, S.C. Price, A. Nunn, P. Grasso, J.W. Bridges, “Effects of Phthalic Acid esters on the liver and thyroid,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 70, p. 195-210, 1986.

29 A.H. Mann, S.C. Price, F.E. Mitchell, P. Grasso, R.H. Hinton, and J.W. Bridges, “Comparison of the Short Term Effects of Di(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate, Di(n-hexyl) Phthalate, and Di(n-octly) Phthalate in Rats,” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 77(1), p. 116-132.

30 29 C.F.R. §1910.1200.

31 Mallinkrodt Baker, Inc., MSDS # E6500 – Effective date 03/05/97

32 J.C. Lamb, R.E. Chapin, T. Teague, A.D. Lawton, J.R. Reel, “Reproductive Effects of Four Phthalate Esters in the Mouse,” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 88(2), p. 255-269, 1987. See also, J.R. Reel, A.D. Lawton, C.B. Meyers, “DnHP Reproduction and Fertility Assessment in CD-1 Mice when Administered in the Feed,” National Toxicology Program, Government Reports Announcements & Index (GRA&I) Issue 25, 1985.

33 R.H. Hinton, F.E. Mitchell, A. Mann, D. Chescoe, S.C. Price, A. Nunn, P. Grasso, J.W. Bridges, “Effects of Phthalic Acid esters on the liver and thyroid,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 70, p. 195-210, 1986. A.H. Mann, S.C. Price, F.E. Mitchell, P. Grasso, R.H. Hinton, and J.W. Bridges, “Comparison of the Short Term Effects of Di(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate, Di(n-hexyl) Phthalate, and Di(n-octly) Phthalate in Rats,” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 77(1), p. 116- 132.

34 USEPA, Four Final Mutagenicity Reports Regarding Phthalate Esters, Hazleton Biotech Co., Source EPA OTS; Doc #40-8626225. 2000.

35 USEPA, Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), DEHP, see www.epa.gov/iris/search.htm

36 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1988 Permissible Exposure Limits for DEHP, see http://www.cdc.gov/niosh. US Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Toxicology Program, Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR), Expert Panel Report on DEHP, p. 87, 92, October 2000.

37 See www.cdc.gov/niosh/pel88/84-66.html and www.cdc.gov/niosh/pel88/117-81.html.

38 M.V. Aldyreva, et al. “Gig Tr Sostoyanie Spetsificheskikh Funkts Rab Neftekhim,” Khim Prom-STI, p. 154-9, 1974.

39 V.G. Zartarian, A.C. Ferguson, and J.O. Leckie, “Quantified Dermal Activity Data From a Four Child Pilot Field Study,” Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidimiology 7(4), p. 543-552, 1997.

40 Dr. Woodhall Stopford, MD, MSPH, Duke University Medical Center, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, “Questions Concerning the Risk Assessment for Polymer Clays,” October 23, 2000. Faxed to VPIRG from the State of Alaska Occupational Safety Administration on April 2, 2001.

41 Shettler, Solomon, Valenti, and Huddle, Generations at Risk, Reproductive Health and the Environment, MIT Press, 1999 p.237

42 Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, §6(a)-(c), (codified at 15 U.S.C. §2601 et.seq.) Hidden HAZARDS AZARDS page 32

43 Corrosion Proof Fittings v. EPA, 987 F.2d 1202 (5th Cir. 1991). Shettler, Solomon, Valenti, and Huddle, Generations at Risk, Reproductive Health and the Environment, MIT Press, 1999 p.242.

44 Environmental Defense Fund, “Toxic Ignorance: The continued absence of basic health testing for top selling chemicals in the United States,” June 1, 1997, pp. 15-17.

45 EPA, Chemical Manufacturers Association, “Joint announcement of cooperative program for high production volume U.S. industrial chemicals,” October, 1998, found at http://www.environmentaldefense.org/article.cfm?ContentID=661

46 Environmental Working Group, “Beauty Secrets: Does a common chemical in nailpolish pose risks to human health?” 2000. www.ewg.org

47 US Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Toxicology Program, Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR), Expert Panel Report on BBP, p. 31, October 2000.

48 See, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/pel88/84-66.html and www.cdc.gov/niosh/pel88/117-81.html

49 See, www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts9.html

50 “Phthalates to escape total EU ban,” Environment Daily Issue 1112, November 28, 2001.

51 KEMI, Guidance on the rules applying to phthalates in toys and other articles for small children, National Chemicals Inspectorate (Sweden), May 2000, http://www.kemi.se/publikationer/pdf/toys.pdf .

52 Fimozone, “About Polymer Clay – FAQ’s,” www.fimozone.com/faq.html

53 EberhardFaber, “Corporate Guidelines” and “Environment”, www.eberhardfaber.de/leitlinie_en.htm

54 Staedtler UK, “Frequently Asked Questions,” www.staedtler-uk.co.uk/faq.htm

55 Deborah Hayes, “Beginner’s Corner”, Polymer Clay Polyzine, 3(3), March 2002. http://www.pcpolyzine.com/0203march/beginners.html

56 Tommie Howell, “PC but not too PC”, Polymer Clay Polyzine, 2(4), April 2001. http://www.pcpolyzine.com/april2001/issues.html

57 See, www.worldramp.net/~wandy/archive2.htm

58 See http://www.acminet.org

59 Polyform – the Sculpey People, “lets play with clay” product brochure, 1999, Polyform products Co. Inc.


Acknowledgements

VPIRG is grateful to the Mitchell Kapor Foundation for their patience and generous financial support enabling VPIRG to complete this report and educate consumers about these potentially harmful products. We are also thankful to receive funding for our efforts to link the environment and public health from the John Merck Fund, Belden Fund, Lintilhac Foundation, Merck Family Fund and W. Alton Jones Foundation.

Many thanks to Sarah O’Brien for her assistance in the completion of this report. We appreciate the help of both Dave Rapaport, whose inspiration created this research, and Marco Kaltofen, who provided advice and direction in its early stages. Thanks also to Jim Vallette for his research, Rick Maas of the Environmental Quality Institute at UNC-Asheville for his technical support, and to Jeremiah Baumann at USPIRG for his editorial and organizational support. Additional thanks to Cheryl Allen of Crescent Design for her photographs.

For additional copies of this report visit our website at www.vpirg.org or send $10 for each copy to the address below.

About VPIRG

The Vermont Public Interest Research Group is Vermont’s largest environmental and consumer watchdog organization with 20,000 members throughout the state. Founded in 1972, VPIRG has provided 30 years of research, organizing, and advocacy campaigns to ensure policies are made in the public’s interest. For more information about our work, please write VPIRG, 141 Main Street, Montpelier, VT 05602, call 802-223-5221 or visit www.vpirg.org

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