Back to school: why is the pen considered dangerous for children?

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Several harmful substances have been detected in pens, according to a study, which recommends that parents avoid including them in their children’s school supplies.

Is the pen dangerous for health? A study by the association UFC-Que Choisir points to the presence of “harmful substances” in school supplies and in particular in pens, which advises parents not to buy, in a study published Thursday.

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Aurélie Mathieu, coordinator of expertise on hazardous substances in supplies of the National Agency for Food Safety (Anses), returns to to the lessons of this study and answers our questions.

• What substances are dangerous in pens?

“The pens contain three harmful substances identified by UFC-Que Choisir. isothiazolinones, fairly common preservatives as they are found, for example, in certain detergents, paints and cosmetic products. they are allergens.

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added to that benzyl alcohol, an aromatic substance that can cause skin allergies. It is regularly used in industry as a preservative, colorant or perfume.

Finally, the association notes the presence of CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic), including a probable carcinogen. Over the theoretical risks of cancer in pens, danger does not mean risk. There are many hazardous substances present, including a carcinogen that can lead to exposure without being able to conclude on the risk. In fact, no risk assessment has been done.”

• Where do the dangers for children really come from?

“The substances identified by the study can lead to exposure through ink ingestion and skin contact.

Also, while the risks to plastics in pens have also not been evaluated, you should avoid chewing on your pen to avoid exposure to plastic residue.

• Are the results discovered by this study a surprise?

“In a study published at the beginning of July, the ANSES had already pointed out the presence of certain dangerous substances in school supplies and had requested that their exposure be reduced. The Agency advises consumers to give preference to supplies that do not contain glitter and flavoring substances. or other tricks that might encourage children to chew them.

It also calls for toy regulations to apply to school supplies. These regulations impose, among other things, thresholds and bans on chemicals, particularly with regard to the presence of CMRs and phthalates. However, some school supplies (such as paint, colored pencils, or markers) are already considered toys and are subject to this regulation.

Author: Juliette Desmonceaux with AFP
Source: BFM TV

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