Why children are forbidden with red pencils

"Öko-Test": felt-tip pens, many products are poisonous

Felt-tip pens not only contain a good portion of chemicals, they also create a lot of plastic waste. But many children just love the disposable pens because their colors are particularly bright.Almost everyone loves felt-tip pens, because the colors are particularly bright. The consumer magazine "Öko-Test" wanted to find out whether the products are classified as hazardous waste or whether there are brands with which parents can confidently let their children paint.

Pens should be made in Europe

According to a study by the testers, many felt-tip pens contain problematic ingredients. Of the 20 felt-tip pen sets tested, six received the grade "sufficient" or worse. When choosing felt-tip pens, parents should pay attention to their origin. The fiber-tip pens manufactured in Europe according to the supplier are all "satisfactory" or better, reports the magazine in the 5/2010 issue.

Full of poisons and partly unsaleable

The bottom line is that the situation has worsened compared to the last test of felt-tip pens in 2001. Only a quarter of the products are without major defects. The rest is full of questionable and / or problematic substances. For example, toxic cadmium was detected in the red pen sleeve and in the packaging of the markers from Faber-Castell. The pen should not have been sold because it exceeds the limit values ​​of the Chemicals Prohibition Ordinance many times over. Other pens also give cause for criticism. The laboratory found increased lead levels in three markers, for example in the Herlitz pencils. Jürgen Stellpflug from "Öko-Test" adds: "When children nibble on a pencil, for example, there is a risk that the lead will be absorbed by the body - the toxic heavy metal has been proven to be soluble in stomach acid."

Not for children's hands

Foil pens with inscriptions such as "permanent", "all-purpose markers" or "whiteboard pens" are generally taboo for children, advises "Öko-Test". Because they contained rapidly evaporating organic solvents.

Which pens are allowed in the pencil case?

However, the little artists do not have to do without their felt-tip pens. The "Crayola Supertips felt tip pens" from Vivid and four other products score "very good". The testers rated seven products as "good". Parents who buy fiber pens made in Europe are also largely on the safe side. Because these are all "satisfactory" or better in the test.

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