Lead is found in limestone in very insignificant amounts. Most chalk is made from limestone. It's not too tough to put together. Wee Can Too Sidewalk Chalk has no limestone at all and is made with all edible organic ingredients!
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Be careful and only buy sidewalk chalk made from Crayola. Both of my children tested positive for lead exposure a few years ago. We had everything tested and it turned out to be sidewalk chalk. It was chalk they had gotten as a prize and it came from Joanne Etc. The only reason we tested the chalk is because a friend remembered hearing about a recall on sidewalk chalk in the past. The CPSC came to my house & took the chalk, due to its very high levels of lead. Both kids are just fine, fortunately our Dr.'s routine check up includes lead tests for everyone, not just those in particular areas.
So... if you have never had your kids tested, ask your Dr. And even if the package says "Conforms to ___ standard", if it isn't Crayola, don't buy it!
Origins: This e-mailed alert began circulating on the Internet in March 2007. While we don't yet know the specific product referenced in the letter (the manufacturer wasn't named), there was indeed a Recalled brand of sidewalk chalk recall of certain brands of sidewalk chalk in 2003 because they were found to contain excessive amounts of lead.
In 2003, voluntary recalls were issued by both Target and Toys R Us for the "Double Dipp'n Fun" brand of sidewalk chalk then being vended by both retailers. Produced in China, the triangular chalk sticks were multicolored and sold for about 99 cents per package. Some 26,000 units were sold nationwide between March and July 2003.
Given that there does not appear to be a current Consumer Products and Safety Commission alert about sidewalk chalk, there is reason to believe the March 2007 e-mail about lead being found in that type of product refers to the 2003 incident. Indeed, the letter's "Both of my children tested positive for lead exposure a few years ago. We had everything tested and it turned out to be sidewalk chalk" tends to indicate the product in question was the "Double Dipp'n Fun" brand that was subsequently recalled.
As to why this matter is of note, while exposure to lead presents a hazard to all, it poses an especial danger to children. Additional care must be taken to limit their exposure to it.
Lead poisoning can reportedly lower intelligence, cause mental retardation, memory problems, depression, fatigue, hyperactivity, aggression, hearing loss, liver or kidney damage, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and anemia. Very high levels can damage the nervous system, kidneys and major organs and even result in seizures or death. It can also lead to infertility in men and cause spontaneous abortion in women. In the final stages of lead poisoning, the victim experiences convulsions, paralysis, blindness, delusions, and then coma. People can and have died of lead
Barbara "get the lead out" Mikkelson
Last updated: 2 April 2007
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Hogstrom, Erik. "Chalk Talk; Product Recall Shows Another Potential Source of Lead Poisoning."
[Dubuque] Telegraph Herald. 24 November 2003 (p. C1).
Stein, Jason. "Sidewalk Chalk Is Recalled by Target."
Wisconsin State Journal. 14 November 2003 (p. C9).
The [Syracuse] Post-Standard. "Lead in Sidewalk Chalk Sparks Toys R Us Recall."
12 December 2003 (p. C3) .