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Safe Play Sand for Sandpit?

(100 Posts)
FriskyFrog Wed 27-Apr-16 15:58:38

Sorry, posting for traffic.

Just bought a sandpit and was about to order some nice cheap playsand from Tesco when I found out about crystalline silica and asbestos tremolite. Both known carcinogens. Common to find them in play sand apparently if the sand is manufactured from crushed rock instead of being natural sand taken from a beach or river.

Am looking at playsand that claims to be non toxic and conforms to BS EN71-3-2013, e.g. ELC and others, but the standard does not cover silica or asbestos tremolite, and none of them say how the sand is produced / sourced.

Has anyone already done the homework on this and know of a properly safe playsand?

I am rather shocked to see that Tesco's playsand is silica sand now.

DonkeyOaty Wed 27-Apr-16 16:01:12

Erm we just bought playsand from argos cos it was softest.

Newtobecomingamum Wed 27-Apr-16 16:05:06

Sound like scary stuff! Wouldn't it have to have passed safety tests or standards? Is be keen to find out of there is a safer brand too if this is the case that they are unsafe.

LittlePoot Wed 27-Apr-16 16:07:58

Isn't asbestos only a problem if you inhale it as fine dust? I'm another who just bought nice soft stuff and I'm not worried about it.

NeedACleverNN Wed 27-Apr-16 16:12:20

Yeah I bought sand from Argos too....

I think you are over thinking it

FriskyFrog Wed 27-Apr-16 16:17:22


You think I'm overthinking it to be concerned that something I buy for my child to play in might give them cancer?

JuxtapositionRecords Wed 27-Apr-16 16:19:02

MAY give them cancer if they ate it or sat in it every day for 20 years. Much like every other product.

FriskyFrog Wed 27-Apr-16 16:22:35

Are you confident in your quantitative data there Juxta?

JuxtapositionRecords Wed 27-Apr-16 16:26:09


FriskyFrog Wed 27-Apr-16 16:27:05

Oh really? Can you provide a source?

MrsLeighHalfpenny Wed 27-Apr-16 16:30:10

Pretty much anything will cause a medical ishoo if you over indulge in it, or use it incorrectly.

Presumably your DCs aren't going to build a house of sand and live in it, or eat it?

The dangers of "artificial" (for want of a better word) sand, are far far outweighed by the damage caused by taking "real" sand off beaches.

FriskyFrog Wed 27-Apr-16 16:34:01

MrsLeigh. The risks to children are from normal play; patting, pouring, tossing sand around. It creates a fine dust within which the dangerous particles exist.

JuxtapositionRecords Wed 27-Apr-16 16:36:23

What that most products contain carcinogens? Far too many to list as most things do. But the worry as always is excessive exposure. Silica would have to be in its finest dust form to be inhaled, ie, when cutting rock. Not like play sand which is made up of far bigger rock grains and would be very difficult to inhale. That and along with the fact the quantities would have to be huge or your daughter would have to be somehow inhaling it every day for a LONG time mean the risk of it being damaging whilst playing in a sand pit for maybe 2 hours a week in the summer are insignificant.

Just don't get her a sand pit if you are that worried.

EvansOvalPies Wed 27-Apr-16 16:39:05

I bought our sand from the Early Learning Centre. Didn't think to look at the ingredients (of sand). DC and all their friends happily played in it, for years and years, in the nice weather. They are now young adults, and some of the friends are parents themselves.

I did once buy some less expensive builder's sand, but as it stained the children's skin yellow, didn't bother with that again shock
I think your DC will be absolutely fine, OP.

FriskyFrog Wed 27-Apr-16 16:39:26

No Juxta

I was referring to your assertion that a child would have to be in such sand every day for 20 years for it to be dangerous or have a risk of cancer.

That is a quantitative statement, and I assume it's off the top of your head, and likely wrong.

I will get a sandpit, I'll just do the research and pay a bit more to get properly safe sand.

EvansOvalPies Wed 27-Apr-16 16:42:00

I'd personally be happier for my children (or grandchildren) to play in shop-bought sand than to eat a McDonald's Burger or KFC, TBH.

JuxtapositionRecords Wed 27-Apr-16 16:42:42

Out of interest what other precautions do you take? Traffic fumes for example. Swimming pools where the disinfectants and chlorine have also been suggested to be carcinogenic?

If you live like this you will drive yourself and your daughter mad.

greathat Wed 27-Apr-16 16:43:12

Sausages cause cancer too, and ham... Do your kids get exposed to those?

JuxtapositionRecords Wed 27-Apr-16 16:44:53

Well can you prove my statement is wrong?

LemonBreeland Wed 27-Apr-16 16:45:06

I suggest you just return the sandpit and then you won't have to worry.

eurochick Wed 27-Apr-16 16:48:43

Meat is carcinogenic. Dairy is carcinogenic. The air we breath contains carcinogens from vehicles and industry.

I'm not going to worry overly about occasionally used play sand.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Wed 27-Apr-16 16:48:52

As others have said, there are carcinogens, and carcinogenic dust all around us, all the time. Why pick on sand?

I bet the dust off the sand on the beach doesn't do you much good either.

But masks for your kids to where while they play, and while they walk along the road too, and while they do pretty much anything in the 21st century.

FriskyFrog Wed 27-Apr-16 16:49:08

I seek to avoid risks that are easily avoided. I can't do anything about traffic fumes, as I cannot control the air.
But if I can get playsand that is guaranteed not to have these known carcinogens in, why wouldn't I?

MrsLeighHalfpenny Wed 27-Apr-16 16:49:30


MrsLeighHalfpenny Wed 27-Apr-16 16:50:13

Do you eat meat?

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