Polymer Clay … Toxic ??

One of my hobbies that I enjoy is crafting and I do an assortment of crafts from Fabric, Paint, Photography, Drawing, etc. Currently I’m trying Polymer Clay. I’ve never used Polymer Clay before and mainly used Crayola Air-Dry Clay for sculpting and clay crafts. I bought a batch of Sculpey III Polymer Clays in an assortment of colors.

I was always a bit afraid of using them as Polymer Clays require baking in an oven to cure. I’ve seen YouTube videos where they’ve accidentally burnt their Polymer Clay creations. The amount of time to bake the Polymer clay varies from the thickness and size of the creation being baked.

But a few minutes ago I tried my first Polymer Clay creation. I nervously placed it in my Toaster oven set it to 275 degrees and set my timer to 10 minutes. The Sculpey package recommends 10-15 minutes. But stood by and watched it to be sure I didn’t burn it. I noticed a few wisps of smoke coming up from my Toaster oven so I checked on my Polymer clay creation and noticed that part of the foot had a burnt spot. I immediately shut my Toaster oven off and removed the Polymer clay creation.

I then went on YouTube to see if there’s a vid that shows me how to really bake your Polymer clay creations. Only to find warnings that the fumes from Polymer clay baking is toxic and can pose a health hazard. I immediately was shocked and had this look on my face … (O~o). Who knew that something that looks so harmless like Polymer clay can be hazardous to your health and be toxic ?

Apparently if baked correctly it’s safe but the Polymer Clay residue can still stick to your hands so they advise you wash your hands thoroughly. Some even suggest using a Auto Mechanics Hand-Cleaner to make sure the residue is completely gone. It’s really scary stuff to learn what Polymer clay can do if you accidentally burnt it or even use it at all.

I think I might just stick with my Crayola Air-Dry clay. It’s a pain in the butt to have to paint my clay creations after it’s completely dried and frustrating when some piece crumble or break off but least I know that Air-Dry clay won’t subject you to toxins that can cause cancer or pose a health risk.

Many Polymer Clay artists will defend that the Polymer Clay is completely safe if used properly and with common sense. So being I’m a complete beginner with Polymer Clay … I’ll give it another chance tomorrow but it’s pretty nerve racking and scary to know that it’s toxic and can harm you. So tomorrow I’ll be sure to follow some tips from YouTube and other online sources to use a Tin Foil tent over my Polymer clay creations to prevent burning, operate with a fan or in a ventilated area, and thoroughly wash my hands afterwards.


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