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Topic: Tetris silverware: Classy.  (Read 29101 times)
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« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2010 06:14:27 PM »

 Cheesy Grin YAY!!! Now I know what I am going to do with some of my Sculpey Scraps!! This is soooo COOL!

In the sun she warmed her wings and listened to cicadas sing.
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2010 09:21:58 PM »

Okay, so I pretty much thought this was awesome, but the safety warnings got me thinking. I talked to my scientific-type family, and they were able to verify that Sculpey Polymer Clay will leach into silverware over time -- a warning found here

The argument made a few posts (and years!) back was that you weren't eating directly off of the clay, true, but baked substances can make their way into silveware.

It's probably not going to make anyone drop dead, but, yeah...these may be best as decoration only.

I don't want to kill anyone's buzz, though, because they're totally beautiful and amazing!
Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"

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« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2010 03:42:47 PM »

but the safety warnings got me thinking. I talked to my scientific-type family, and they were able to verify that Sculpey Polymer Clay will leach into silverware over time -- a warning found here
The argument made a few posts (and years!) back was that you weren't eating directly off of the clay, true, but baked substances can make their way into silveware.

Actually, all I could find that Jeanne wrote on that page are the following things in purple. . . keep in mind too that Jeanne wrote this page a looooong time ago:

(Because the plasticizer in polymer clay may leach out even after it's fired, polymer clay is not suitable for objects in direct contact with food.)

Is polymer clay safe to use?
    Polymer clay is, generally speaking, not dangerous at all for ordinary use.
There are a few basic safety rules you should keep in mind to avoid any problems: don't accidentally eat bits of the clay, be careful not to let the plasticizer in the clay get into food, and don't burn or scorch the clay during firing.

Can I use my kitchen utensils with both clay and food?
    This isn't a good idea.  It's difficult or impossible to remove all the clay particles from some utensils (such as the pasta machine), and the plasticizer in the clay may remain on or in surfaces, particularly porous ones such as plastic.  To be safe, don't use utensils for food again once you've used them with clay.  (You may even want to label your clay utensils to make sure no one accidentally uses them in the kitchen.)

Can I use polymer clay to decorate food-serving pieces?
    Residual plasticizer can remain in the clay after firing, and this plasticizer might leach out into food that touches even the fired clay, so it may not be safe to use polymer clay on surfaces that will be in contact with food.
    This shouldn't be a problem for pieces that don't touch food directly, such as napkin rings. If you want to use polymer clay for a serving dish, consider sandwiching your clay design between two pieces of glass - that way it can be seen without touching the food on the dish

What Jeanne is actually saying is that raw plasticizer isn't something you particularly want to ingest (whether the plasticizer is a bit that remained in the clay if the clay hadn't been thoroughly baked and polymerized, or the plasticizer is from raw clay that's touched your hands or anything else you've touched or worked with).  Dogs apparently down hunks of it all the time though with no problems other than technicolor poop.

(The potential for problems is pretty low anyway though--and polymer clay is rated as NonToxic by the board that regulates art/craft materials-- but many clayers just use an excess of caution, especially when talking to newbies.  Keep in mind that we all breathe in, ingest, etc., many many less-than-wonderful things over our lifetimes by just living in an industrialized country, so it's the total body load over a lifetime that counts.  This is also the reason why all the plasticizers had to be changed recently for all brands because polymer clay is still categorized as a "childrens' toy" and has to go by the very strict new EU laws for the under-3 crowd, even though most still felt even that was overkill).

To get back to the main point though, plasticizers cannot "make their way into silverware" or into any hard smooth surfaces like metal, glass, ceramic, etc, at all.  Those materials are completely non-porous.
Now if raw clay had touched a piece of metal, it might have left a slight film (just like it would on your hands, etc), but that's easily cleaned off before putting hands in mouth or on food, etc.  
The problems occur when those very smooth non-porous materials like metal/ceramic/glass are not flat so they're harder to clean from bits of clay (like the working interior parts of a pasta machine, or any metal that's just not easily reachable with a brush or soap and water, or a wiping of alcohol, or rubbed-on hand lotion that's then been wiped off, etc.), and may get trapped in those places and be "touched" later.

By far, the largest problem and no-no for polymer clay is anything it touches which has a porous surface ...like bare wood, paper, fabric, etc.  

As for plastics, most would fall into the metal-glass category since they're not porous, BUT some plastics could be scratched up enough or have lots of corners and crevices so require pretty thorough cleaning, and *some kinds* of plastics can be eaten into by the plasticizers in polymer clay if left in continuous contact with them a long time.  
(Polymer clay is itself a plastic and is actually a teeny-tiny bit porous but only after being in contact with a liquid for a very long time like 6 months or more, and also while completely submerged or in total contact for all that time.)

Diane B.

P.S.  If you know of any evidence I can check out that polymer clay actually "will leach into silverware over time," please let me know because I'd like to research it further and put any results at my polymer clay "encyclopedia" site with the other info on safety ...and also let other long-term polymer clayers know since the consensus of their opinions is that it doesn't happen.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2010 04:00:02 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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