Squares of colorful uncured polymer clay sit on a white table.

Polymer Clay

Julie Weber Is This A Poison

Toxicity: Low Risk

Expected symptoms: 

– minor stomach upset
– loose stools
– choking hazard
– fumes may cause watery eyes, runny nose, headache, and coughing

What to do:

– Wipe or rinse out the mouth.
– Give a serving size of water to drink.
– Rinse any exposed skin with lukewarm water and soap.
– Ventilate and exit the room until there are no more fumes.
Call 1-800-222-1222 for additional instructions

Quick Facts about polymer clay:

What is polymer clay? It’s a synthetic or artificial clay, typically with no natural clay minerals present. It contains plastic combined with resins, fillers, and coloring agents. The clay starts as a dry powder, and liquid is added until it becomes flexible. Once someone has formed the polymer clay into the desired shape, it is “cured” or hardened in an oven. Polymer clay is cured at low temperatures with short baking times (oven temperatures range from 265° F to 275° F).

Polymer side effects

Callers to the poison center often ask, “Is polymer clay toxic? Does it cause toxic fumes?”  

If someone accidentally swallows a small amount of clay, symptoms (if any) may include a minor upset stomach and loose stool. The dyes in the clay could discolor the stool. It can also be a choking hazard for small children.

The main risk is when the clay is curing. If the oven is too hot or left in the oven for too long, the fumes or vapors may cause irritation. Symptoms from inhaling the fumes include watery eyes, runny nose, headache, and coughing. These fumes can be irritating to pets.

What to do if this occurs?

  1. Ventilate the area by opening windows and use the stove’s exhaust fan if possible. Turn on other available fans in the room to circulate the air.
  2. All people and pets should move to a different area of the home until you no longer smell the fumes.
  3. Call 1-800-222-1222 for additional instructions.

What if someone eats a piece of polymer clay?

If you find someone has eaten a small amount of polymer clay, do not panic. Wipe out the mouth with a soft, wet cloth and give them some water to drink. If problems start or you have questions, call the Missouri Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222. The poison center is open all day, every day, for poisoning emergencies and questions.

IMPORTANT

Polymer clay is not “food-safe” and should not be used to make utensils, bowls, mugs, or anything that will have prolonged contact with food. You can decorate these items using polymer clay, but don’t put polymer clay on any surface that will be in contact with food. Hand-wash items that have polymer clay decorations because the heat and caustic soap of a dishwasher will cause it to break down and discolor over time.

AKA:   Fimo®, Kato Polyclay™, Sculpey®

**Note: Don’t forget, every case is different. To make sure you are getting the best information for your individual situation, click below to call or chat. It is fast, free, and confidential.
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