safe finishes for wooden toys - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-05-2010, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Question safe finishes for wooden toys

Thanks for setting me straight about the definite absence of lead in wood finishes. I'm still trying to figure out the larger question of non-toxic finishes for kids' toys. The only other component that is subject to new regulation (as far as I know) is phthalates; I know there are also concerns about VOCs and about other metals used in place of lead. So...what would you use to finish toys your relatives might use?
And, if any of you have tried natural/nontoxic wood finishes, did they work well--provide good protection, dry in a reasonable amount of time etc?
Thanks,
Jo
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-05-2010, 03:25 PM
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Food safe oils are available. I use them for cutting boards and children's toys.
Shellac is used as a coating for M&M's, so it would be safe.
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-05-2010, 04:52 PM
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Milk Paint might be a good option. It is nearly indestructible (paint thinner doesn't touch it), tint-able to just about any color you want and has no VoC's.
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-05-2010, 06:46 PM
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I generally use General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish for food safe applications and children's toys or gifts.

You have to be a little careful about shellacs. Some are safe, some are not.
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-16-2011, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwhafner
You have to be a little careful about shellacs. Some are safe, some are not.
Could you explain how to determine this?

e r i c
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-14-2011, 05:51 PM
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If color is not an issue, mineral oil works, and is non toxic (it used to be given to kids for constipation, though that’s not done any more because if they breath in the liquid it’s bad for the lungs, not because the dries stuff is bad).

As mentioned, shellac is supposed to be safe once the alcohol evaporates off. It is sometimes used as a wax based coating for fresh fruit. But the official Material Safety Data Sheet for ‘Shellac gum’ makes the following statement: “Hazardous in case of ingestion. Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of inhalation.” That’s actually a new one to me, as I have seen other sources state that shellac is ‘food grade’ and therefore edible. My guess is that the people that are using it in foods are not going to the local hardware store and buying a few cans.

So who knows which product is safe? When in doubt punt.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-14-2011, 05:54 PM
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If color is not an issue, mineral oil works, and is non toxic (it used to be given to kids for constipation, though that’s not done any more because if they breath in the liquid it’s bad for the lungs, not because the dried stuff is bad).

As mentioned, shellac is supposed to be safe once the alcohol evaporates off. It is sometimes used as a wax based coating for fresh fruit. But the official Material Safety Data Sheet for ‘Shellac gum’ makes the following statement: “Hazardous in case of ingestion. Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of inhalation.” That’s actually a new one to me, as I have seen other sources state that shellac is ‘food grade’ and therefore edible. My guess is that the people that are using it in foods are not going to the local hardware store and buying a few cans.

So who knows which product is safe? When in doubt punt.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-14-2011, 05:56 PM
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Sorry about the double (now tripple) post. Hit the button twice...
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-14-2011, 06:01 PM
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Generally speaking film finishes once cured are kid safe. Finishes and woods for that matter that are bitten off, chewed up and digested will be a source of concern. This goes to what's called 'supervision'. IOW, don't let kids eat the furniture...give them food.








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post #10 of 13 Old 04-14-2011, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
Generally speaking film finishes once cured are kid safe. Finishes and woods for that matter that are bitten off, chewed up and digested will be a source of concern. This goes to what's called 'supervision'. IOW, don't let kids eat the furniture...give them food.

.


That’s a good point and well worth paying attention to, but alas, a two year old is defined as a small person with a ten foot reach that moves at the speed of light…




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post #11 of 13 Old 04-25-2011, 08:36 PM
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I've been researching this and came across this article...

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/te...-safe-finishes

It does seem that we worry a bit much about stuff like this...

I've also heard concerns about CA...
I have used this regularly on children's little faces, uncured.
They seem to prefer it over sutures.

p

...ever notice how "I'm sorry" and "I apologize" mean the same thing, unless you are at a funeral..?

Last edited by txpaulie; 04-25-2011 at 08:43 PM. Reason: I love pork.
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-25-2011, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpaulie
I've been researching this and came across this article...

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/te...-safe-finishes

It does seem that we worry a bit much about stuff like this...

I've also heard concerns about CA...
I have used this regularly on children's little faces, uncured.
They seem to prefer it over sutures.

p
The arguments in the comments section against the opinion in the article make some pretty good counter points. Be sure to read them as well.

e r i c
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post #13 of 13 Old 04-26-2011, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
I want to make clear that I’m not saying that all finishes are food safe — we can’t be absolutely sure about the safety of any curing finish.
...from the article.

p

...ever notice how "I'm sorry" and "I apologize" mean the same thing, unless you are at a funeral..?
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