An Artist’s Guide for Using Non-Toxic Eco-Friendly Art Supplies for your Children

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By Spramani Elaun

Your child’s life will be filled with colorful creative moments and projects as he or she grows. It is very natural for children to be drawn to visual arts through making their own hands-on art projects. Exploring with many different art supplies will be a big part of your child’s experience.  Activities will pass through from school days to organized groups, summer camps, art classes or just home art & craft projects. Knowing some simple facts will help you select safe products to ensure the safety of your developing child.
I recommend young children under the ages of 12 years use only art supplies that are non-toxic. A young child’s immune system is not as strong as the immune system of an adult. A young child may not be able to defend against coming into contact with toxic substances as well as adults can. It is important to understand that art supplies can be ingested, absorbed or inhaled accidentally. Many professional art supplies on the market can contain toxic ingredients which requires special care and instructions and usually intended for adults only. Ensuring that your child only uses products made specifically for young children will help protect their health in the long run.
What dose it mean when art supplies are labeled non-toxic?

 A product claiming it is non-toxic is ensuring that the product dose not cause acute or chronic hazards to your health. If the products carries a non-toxic seal or claims the product conforms to ASTM D 4236 it has been evaluated by a qualified toxicologist for both acute or chronic hazards. U.S. labeling law requires all companies selling or distributing art supplies for the use of young children must bare on their  label the conforms to ASTM D 4236 mark.  For more information about this law you can get information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  This Safety Commission is an independent regulatory agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with consumer products. If it is not clear on the label whether or not the product is non-toxic, I suggest contacting the company and asking. Most companies are happy to divulge this information for child safety.

How to choose earth-friendly art supplies
Our young children are growing in an important time where saving our planet is a new way of life! Learning and teaching our children conservation can start from picking earth-friendly art supplies for those art projects. The term earth-friendly can be broad and has many meanings, so I have listed four helpful guides that I feel are important to buying earth-friendly art supplies.

 The four guides are:

 1. Ingredients made to be biodegradable in a responsible time and will not pollute our environment.

2. Packaging and containers created with renewable or recycled materials that can be recycled or biodegradable.

3. Art supplies that release low or no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) or products manufactured making low carbon footprints in the environment.

 4. Facilities practicing and adopting green methods to bring products to market and leaving a low ecological footprint.  More information on learning about earth-friendly products can be found by visiting the  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is an agency of the federal government of the U.S. protecting human health and the environment.

Key things to remember about non-toxic & earth-friendly art supplies
As an art teacher and mother to young children it is important to me to use only non-toxic for the health of my students and family. Remember professional art supplies are usually designed for adult used responsibly. Always read your product labels on how to use and store safely. Art supplies can have a shelf life so please be sure not to use past those dates. Depose of art supplies in an earth-friendly way. Exploring visual art  & crafts should be safe for our children and planet! For more information and recommended art supplies for young children visit Nature of Art For Kid’s®

Teaching Children Naturally,
Spramani E’Laun
Earth-Friendly Green Art Teacher
Nature of Art For Kid’s®

links: EPA
links: CPSC

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As founder and Creative Director of Nature of Art For Kids® Spramani spends her time teaching unique earth-friendly art classes in private and public venues. Spramani has an incredible talent for captivating her young audience at her live venues. Drawing on a new generation of natural teaching the Nature of Art® school was founded as a private art school in Southern California. Nature of... Read More

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