Mother Earth Living

A Safer Sandbox: How Green is Your Child's Sandbox?

We calm your concerns about silica sand and silicosis.
By Natural Home Staff
March/April 2003
Add to My MSN


Content Tools

Related Content

Yikes! How to Save a Wet Cell Phone

An economical, new product from Yikes! Phone and Table Rescue revives cell phones—and other electron...

DeLoach Vineyards: Biodynamic Farming and Horn Silica Prep 501

Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace introduces a green gardening series on Biodynamic farming ...

Natural Sunscreen: Stay Sunburn-Free With Safer, Natural Sunscreens

Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reveals what sunscreen active ingredients are safe and uns...

How to Save Seeds: Drying Seeds for Storage

Drying seeds to the desired moisture level for storage may take a few days to several weeks, dependi...

I have been searching for the safest sand for my child’s sandbox. I have concerns about silica sand and silicosis. Can you recommend a product?

—CHRISTY KOPPISCH, SAN DIEGO

Debra Lynn Dadd replies:

Sand is a loose granular material made from particles of silica, coral and shells, depending on location. Silica is the second most common mineral in the earth’s crust and a major component of many rocks and mineral ores. Overexposure to dust containing microscopic silica particles can cause the lung disease silicosis. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health states, “Typical sand found at the beach does not pose a silicosis threat.”

I could find no reference to any danger from exposure to sand in children’s sandboxes. Persons at risk are typically workers in industries where silica dust is created—and then only after five to ten years of eight-hours-a-day exposure. Sand in sandboxes is generally not being hammered, pounded, or blasted in ways that would create dust.

To obtain safe sand, purchase beach sand rather than quarried sand, which may contain impurities (I did find a report of sand being recalled because it may contain asbestos). If you want to sterilize it, pour boiling water over the sand, then dry it out or bake it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. It’s a lot of work if you have a large volume of sand. You could spread the sand in a thin layer on a big piece of black plastic and leave it in the sun on a hot day. Sterilized, screened beach sand can also be purchased; one source is www.yardright.com/sand.htm

DEBRA LYNN DADD is an internationally known expert on healthy home environments and author of Home, Safe Home (Putnam, 1997).








Post a comment below.

 


MY COMMUNITY
no image
HarvestRight
8/21/2014 5:22:39 PM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 10:03:07 AM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 9:59:22 AM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 9:30:07 AM
no image
melisastarr
8/19/2014 12:57:22 PM
no image
Peggy McMahan
8/18/2014 11:29:51 AM
no image
lorina21
8/17/2014 10:16:45 PM
no image
lorina21
8/17/2014 10:15:23 PM






Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.