Are Paper Mate Pens Toxic?

Most of us have been told as kids not to draw on our bodies with pens or markers. The reasoning of course is the risk of ink poisoning! Have you ever wondered if the popular paper mate pens are toxic? 

Paper mate pens are actually categorized as nontoxic pens. This means they meet certain criteria and are considered to have an extremely low risk of ever causing harm to an individual. Most pens used today are actually nontoxic as companies have moved away from using toxic materials in their ink. 

In this article we will explore if the ink inside paper mate pens is toxic, the effects of ink poisoning, and how paper mate pens are categorized as non-toxic. 

Is The Ink In Paper Mate Pens Toxic? 

Whether you’re a concerned parent reading this or simply someone who likes to doodle on their hand, you should feel relieved in knowing that the ink used in most pens is NOT toxic. The U.S. has regulations in place to ensure that pens are manufactured in safe ways. 

While there are certain inks that can be toxic, such as permanent marker ink that contains chemicals such as phenol or xylene, this is not true for paper mate pens. 

Paper mate makes ballpoint, felt tips, and gel pens, all of which are certified nontoxic. This means an individual would have to consume large amounts of this ink, much more than can be found in one pen or even a pack of pens, to actually suffer adverse health effects. 

What Happens If You Get Ink In Your Body? 

Understandably, even when ink is certified as nontoxic, you may still have concerns when you get ink into your body. The ink from paper mate pens will not soak into your skin through drawing on it, however, if you accidentally poke your leg with a pen in your pocket, or have a habit of chewing on your pen tip, you may accidentally get ink into your system. 

Again, as we stated previously, an individual would need to consume or inject themselves with a large amount of ink to see adverse effects. 

If you happen to get ink into your eye it’s common for this to cause irritation, redness, and temporary discoloration. However, if you rinse your eye with water quickly afterward you shouldn’t suffer any lasting damage. 

Of course, if you do feel any of the symptoms of ink poisoning after ingesting ink then it is always recommended to visit your doctor. If you aren’t sure about what constitutes ink poisoning, we are going to discuss them next! 

What Are The Symptoms Of Ink Poisoning?

If you, or your child, does ingest the ink from a pen, the signs of ink poisoning from this would likely only be a mildly upset stomach. 

If you scratch yourself with a pen you may have discoloration or redness on your skin, but this should just be treated as any other minor cut and treated as such. If you wash the area and apply an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin it should heal quickly. 

However, if you do feel as though your cat is not healing and is inflamed, this could indicate an infection and you may need to see a doctor if it doesn’t improve. 

If the ink gets into your eye and you suffer from blurred vision that doesn’t improve this would be another scenario you may need to seek doctor’s advice. 

How Did Paper Mate Pens Get Categorized As Non-Toxic? 

There are manufacturing standards set in place in the U.S. for many different products to give consumers peace of mind about what they are purchasing, and ink pens are no different. 

Paper mate pens have an “AP Approved Seal.” This can be found on the backside of their packaging and lets you know that their pens are nontoxic. 

According to the Art and Creative Materials Institute, “products listed on Schedule A that qualify for the AP Seal shall contain no materials in sufficient quantities to be toxic or injurious to humans or to cause acute or chronic health problems.” 

So, if you’re in doubt when buying your next set of paper mate pens, just take a look on the back of the package for the “AP” initials to make sure they are not toxic.

Final Thoughts: Paper Mate Pens Are Not Toxic

Although fear of ink poisoning has been around for a long time, and there are certainly other forms of ink that may cause severe symptoms when ingested, rest assured that paper mate pens are not toxic. 

These pens adhere to manufacturing guidelines set by the government and have earned their AP Seal to certify that they only contain nontoxic ink. 

As long as you use your pens responsibly and supervise young children, you should never need to worry about getting ink poisoning from a paper mate pen.

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