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Are Prismacolor Pencils Toxic?

Did you buy a new box of Prismacolor pencils and have questions? Many artists do after they notice the warning on the box to wash their hands after using them. However, you don’t have anything to worry about, as long as you don’t ingest the pencil lead.

So, are Prismacolor pencils toxic? No, Prismacolor pencils aren’t toxic. They use non-toxic, dye-based ink to create their stunning pigments. However, one or two yellow shades do use copper, which can be harmful in large amounts. The warning on the box is to ensure you don’t accidentally eat the copper.

Overall, these colored pencils are very safe for you to use! The copper is at very low levels, which shouldn’t be enough to cause you harm. The warnings are mostly there for the company to avoid lawsuits- but it’s always a good idea to wash your hands when finished. Keep reading this article to learn more!

Is There Lead in Prismacolor Pencils?

There isn’t any lead in Prismacolor pencils or any of their art products! The main ingredients in their colored pencils include clay, wax, graphite, dye-based inks, and materials to bind them together. These ingredients make the pencils very soft and easy to work with.

Lead is a heavy metal that used to appear in many art products. However, the material isn’t a common ingredient anymore! We have better (less toxic) options available to us today.

Some people worry about lead in the turquoise-colored pencil since some other brands do have lead in theirs. However, the Prismacolor website states that none of their colored pencils contain lead. 

In fact, you’d have a difficult time finding lead in any colored pencil today. While we often refer to pencils as having lead in them, that doesn’t mean they contain this heavy metal. This term refers to the pigment stick inside of the pencils.

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Most people can use Prismacolors without any worries. As long as you don’t ingest any pigments, you won’t have any problems. They’re a great medium, and I love using them to create smooth colors.

In short, you won’t have to worry about there being lead in the Prismacolor pencils. Still, I can’t recommend letting young children use them. You wouldn’t want them to put the pencils in their mouths! Other than that, they are very safe to use.

Are Prismacolor Pencils Toxic to Dogs?

If your dog eats a Prismacolor pencil, you won’t have to worry about it being toxic. The ingredients shouldn’t be harmful to most dogs when they only swallow a single pencil amount. However, it’s still a good idea to get in touch with your local vet.

While the pencils don’t contain toxic materials, you still need to worry about them being a choking hazard. Plus, the wood can cause severe issues in the dog’s digestive system, such as obstructions and other issues.

Abstract Painting

You should keep all of your art materials away from dogs. You wouldn’t want them to eat any of them- whether or not they’re non-toxic. If they do, make sure they don’t choke, then call their veterinarian. It may not be a problem if they only ate a small piece of the pencil. 

If your dog did consume something toxic, they’d display the following symptoms: 

  • Foaming or drooling from the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • No appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle tremors or spasms
  • Pale or oddly colored gums
  • Aggression or other behavior changes

Are Prismacolor Pencils Toxic to Cats?

Additionally, you may also be wondering if the pencils are toxic to cats. Since they don’t contain real lead, they shouldn’t be toxic to cats. However, you still don’t want them to eat the pencils for the same reasons as dogs.

The colored pencils contain wood, which can splinter and cause health problems in your pet. The material can also cause blockages in your pet’s digestive system, which is a problem that you would want a vet to take care of.

Some cats enjoy chewing on pencils, so you should keep all of your Prismacolors out of sight when not using them. You can also put them up high if you need to step away from your projects for a bit. It’s better than risking your kitty biting them.

If your cat has eaten something toxic to them, they could have these signs:

  • Muscle spasms, twitching, or seizures 
  • Trouble breathing
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
  • Drooling or foaming at the mouth
  • Coughing
  • Behavior changes
  • Hiding

To summarize, you can always call your pet’s vet if you have questions or concerns. It’s better to reach out to them than to put your cat’s health at risk.

Are Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils Non-Toxic?

Prismacolors watercolor pencils are also non-toxic. They don’t contain lead and also use dye-based inks, like the standard color pencils. The box for the pencils even states that they are ACMI (Art ; Creative Materials) certified non-toxic products.

The materials stick to the page well with watercolor pencils, so you shouldn’t have to worry about breathing in or ingesting loose pieces. You should still always wash your hands after you’re finished with them, however. 

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That way, you can clean off any watercolor that accidentally gets on you. The box also states that you should avoid eating, drinking, and smoking when using the product. In general, you want to avoid touching your face.

While these pencils are non-toxic, you still want to make sure you’re not accidentally eating watercolor paint!

Prismacolor Pencils vs Faber-Castell Pencils

Prismacolor and Faber-Castell color pencils are both beautiful products! You’ll often hear artists raving about both of them. However, how do the two products compare to one another?

The ingredients in these pencils are where the most significant differences come from. You’ll want to consider them on a preference and project-by-project basis, so you always get something that fits your needs.

Prismacolor pencils feel smoother to use since they use wax as one of their main ingredients in the pencil lead. The wax is soft, giving the lead a creamier feeling. This feature also makes the pigment come out on the page very smoothly and makes it easier to blend the colors.

Faber-Castell colored pencils are a bit different. If you’ve used both of them, you’ll notice they’re harder to transfer to your page. Faber-Castell pencils use oil-based pigments, which are harder than wax ones. The colors come off with more pressure, and you’ll have a better time using them on tougher paper. The colors also won’t be as shiny as the ones from Prismacolor.

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Overall, both of these color pencils can give you fantastic results! You’ll be able to feel a difference when using them. It can take some getting used to, especially if you often switch back and forth between them. You can even use them together for a unique effect.

Final Thoughts

In short, Prismacolors aren’t toxic and are safe to use! You want to always wash your hands after using them, especially if you’re going to eat. While a majority of the pigments don’t contain harmful ingredients, the yellow shades can contain copper.

Overall, Prismacolors are an excellent art product that has plenty of uses. You’ll want to try them out if you haven’t already! They’re remarkably smooth and produce vibrant, blendable colors. In small amounts, like what you find in the pencils, they aren’t toxic.

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your colored pencil project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

To view my personal artwork collection click here.  All of my artwork is one of a kind and comes ready to hang. You can also find my work at The Gallery SOHO, in the Pomona Valley Art Association.

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