Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2005 10:31:02 EST
Reply-To: ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: [DCHAS-L] Dry Erase Markers
Comments: To: dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU
That was an amazing series of posts on the dry erase markers.  I have been
answering inquiries from artists and teachers since 1978--usually averaging 40
inquires per day.  So I've heard from thousands of artists and teachers over
the years.    In the 1980s, dry erase markers were high solvent products.  But
the complaints didn't reduced greatly even after the "water-based" markers were
made available.  (Actually, these also contain solvents, only less.)

Your posts arrived as I was writing a letter to the principle of a school on
behalf of a mother of a kindergarten child who is concerned.   In her case,
20-30 students, each armed with a marker, sits in a circle and hunkers down over
their own handheld white boards writing their letters.  The odor of solvents
in the room is strong, she says.

One of the interesting "studies" of white board markers was done by a high
school student in Alaska.  She wrote to me with the observation that the bits of
pigment created when the board was erased fell into their class fish tank.
The school had these fish for years without incident, but after these dry
markers were introduced, all the fish died.  She was also concerned about the
"odor."  I exchanged dozens of long letters with this girl about solvents, air
quality, etc.  She got all the MSDSs, talked a laboratory into providing sampling
equipment and actually measured the amounts of solvent in the air.  She wrote
up all her observations and won second place in some kind of high school
national science competition that year.  Unfortunately, many of my hastily written,
unedited, whiteout-corrected letters were appended to the report!  How

I hunted for this paper, but it no longer appears to be in my files.  If any
of you know about this high school competition and how I can reconstruct what
year this was, I would be eternally grateful.

After years of listening to people, I think that these markers must be a lot
more irritating and sensitizing than the old chalk dust.  I think dry erase
markers are fine when used one at a time by a teacher at the front of the class.
 But when many students are using them at once, I think the markers cause
problems for those with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Progress is not always progress.

Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A.,
industrial hygienist
Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer,
United Scenic Artist's, Local 829
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE)
181 Thompson St., #23
New York NY 10012-2586     212/777-0062

In a message dated 2/11/05 6:11:23 PM Eastern Standard Time,
dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU writes:
> >Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Dry Erase Markers
> >To: Debbie Decker 
> >From: Bill Galdenzi 
> >Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 13:35:55 -0500
> >X-Scanned-By: MIMEDefang 2.49 on
> >
> >I would think a definite yes.   TSI makes and ultrafine particulate
> >monitor that you could also rent from a rental company.
> >
> >Bill Galdenzi
> >Health, Environment and Safety
> >Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation

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