Heads up, parents! Certain varieties of dust-free chalk contain casein – a milk protein that can cause severe reactions in kids who are allergic to milk. It can start with coughing, wheezing, or a runny nose, and worsen until they’re having an asthma attack.
Casein is sneaky. It’s found in certain glues, inks, and paper products that are commonly used at schools. It’s broken down somewhat during the chalk-making process, but it’s still enough to cause a reaction.
Schools tend to go for dust-free chalk because it’s thought to be cleaner, but even dust-free chalk is dusty — and a study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reported that those little particles can do serious damage if they’re inhaled.
Reading the ingredients is nothing new for allergy-moms and dads, but that super cheap chalk-in-the-bucket at your local discount store might not actually list ingredients. Here are a few types of chalk that don’t contain casein:
● Crayola’s Washable Sidewalk Chalk does not include any ingredients associated with peanut, shellfish, fish, tree nut, egg, or milk allergies.
● Cra-Z-Art Colored Chalk is made from calcium carbonate, and doesn’t contain casein.
● Colorations Washable Sidewalk Chalk doesn’t contain casein, dairy, latex, egg, gluten, peanut, tree nut, or soy ingredients.
● Wee Can Too Edible Veggie Sidewalk Chalk that’s dairy-free and wheat-free — and, uh, it’s made from fruits and vegetables, if you actually want your kids to eat their daily allotment of chalk?
H/T Science Daily