Despite their popularity, some believe that using chalk to label food jars can create unnecessary dust that can get into the food, is this a real concern, or has technology advanced enough where this is not a problem? Maybe the amount of chalk used on the label is not enough to kick up dust? What about accidental contact when handling the jar?

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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_sulfate seems edible, assuming its not dyed with something toxic? – Journeyman Geek Nov 2 '16 at 12:34
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    @JourneymanGeek edible, yes. Breathable? No. Dust is bad for lungs. Teachers that used blackboard for years, few hours a day, have significantly higher chance for pneumoconiosis and lung cancer. – Mołot Nov 2 '16 at 12:36
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    Do you really think that any amount of chalk labels would be equivalent to a teacher at a blackboard for several hours a day every day? The dust is largely created when you write, not when the chalk board is sitting around. The amount of writing is minimal. – Catija Nov 2 '16 at 13:10
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    No, of course I don't. What gave you idea I do? Simply, that's the only data really available with scientific value. Or at least only data I was able to find. The point is, it doesn't matter if chalk is edible if the main problems it causes come from breathing it. – Mołot Nov 2 '16 at 16:31
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    @Mołot the asker says nothing about inhalation concerns. As written it appears to be concern about whether chalk is safe around or in food, which it generally is. – Catija Nov 2 '16 at 18:07

There certainly will not be enough chalk-dust-kick-up to warrant any safety concerns through inhalation or otherwise. The only concern I could think of would be to have to constantly rewrite labels after handling!


There are 'chalk pens' which I've seen sold with those labels. They're liquid, like a paint pen, so there's no dust.

Unfortunately, there's typically a warning on the packaging that they're not erasable if used on chalkboards ... and it might be true for the labels as well. ... which would defeat much of the purpose of using the stickers in the first place, as they're then just decorative and not functional.

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    Well I know they're at least erasable on the vinyl 'chalkboard' labels, a bit of alcohol and it comes right off. – MDMoore313 Nov 10 '16 at 21:35
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    @BigHomie : if you have white vinyl labels, look for 'wet erase makers' (the type used for transparencies back when teachers still used overhead projectors). There are also some dry erase pens that are more durable (staedtler 'correctable' pens : amazon.com/gp/product/B004SZ570G) They'll come off with a scrub from the felt eraser on the end ... I find if I carry my whiteboard notebook in my bag, it takes a couple of months before the pages start to lose content. I have no idea what that works out to in handling jars. – Joe Nov 10 '16 at 21:46

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