Sandbox safety alert


Summertime inevitably means kids in sandboxes, a childhood pastime with a

proven track record as beneficial developmental play. But not all sand sold in

stores and found in sandboxes is safe for children. Much of the sand sold in

hardware and landscape stores is derived from crushed quartz rock and contains

crystalline silica dust, a known carcinogen and cause of a fatal lung condition

called silicosis. EPA and OSHA warn against inhaling crystalline silica dust for

workers, indicating the use of protective clothing and masks during occupational


According to Mona Lisa Wallace, founder of “Many children play

in sandboxes at school, home or in parks almost daily — so if it is not safe for a

200 pound construction worker to inhale CS dust, why should it be safe for


In California, a Prop 65 warning label is required on bags of sand containing CS

dust. In many other states, sand bags can be found with the words: “not labeled

for sale in California.”