Questions on Pesticides?
- National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)
Illegal Insecticide Chalk, also known as "Miraculous Chalk" or "Chinese Chalk," is a product that has not has not been reviewed and registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. You may have seen the chalk in a neighborhood store or sold on the street for about $1 a box. It is mostly imported illegally from China and often bears a label in both English and Chinese. Sometimes, like on the label we show here, the manufacturer makes claims that the chalk is "harmless to human beings and animals" and "safe to use." These claims are untrue and dangerous. Because insecticide chalk looks just like regular chalk, children often take it in their hands, write with it and put it in their mouths. The active ingredient in unregistered Insecticide Chalk could be any pesticide, which means that the the possible effects of exposure are unknown. Insecticide chalk that has not been registered by EPA should be avoided at all times. Insecticide chalk should be avoided at all times.
EPA is particularly concerned about unregistered insecticide chalk because children may mistake the insecticide for blackboard chalk. Overexposure to some chemicals found in samples of unregistered insecticide chalk can provoke serious health effects, including vomiting, stomach pains, convulsions, tremors, and loss of consciousness. Serious allergic reactions are also possible. Several children have been hospitalized after eating insecticide chalk.
Dispose of any supplies of unregistered insecticide chalk safely — either return the product to the retailer where it was purchased, or contact a local hazardous waste facility to arrange for disposal.