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Nontoxic children’s art supplies

Did you know that many children’s paints contain potentially harmful volatile organic compounds? Or that markers and glues might harbor unhealthy solvents? According to Healthy Child Healthy World (Plume, 2009), numerous chemicals are common in everyday art supplies; and yet, companies aren’t legally required to list ingredients on labels—only serious risks like “fatal if swallowed.” To help parents support children’s creativity minus common chemicals, Clementine Art offers a new line of natural alternatives, available in natural products stores. The brain-child of long-time teacher Diana Mercer, Clementine’s art supplies don’t contain synthetic preservatives, animal byproducts, or petroleum bases, and it is the first art-product company to list all ingredients on its packaging. Look for play dough and water-based markers and soy crayons, all of which use natural vegetable, plant, and mineral pigments in lieu of artificial dyes and fragrances. Clementine’s unscented glue contains a plant-based adhesive (rather than the traditional animal-based alternative), and the company exclusively uses post-consumer recycled and recyclable packaging.

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