Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
Netlore Archive: Forwarded email claims that Mr. Clean Magic Eraser cleaning pads pose a health hazard because they contain formaldehyde
Description: Email rumor
Circulating since: June 2006
Analysis: See below
Email example contributed by Geradine A., 22 June 2006:
Subject: IF YOU ARE USING MR. CLEAN MAGIC ERASERS....STOP!
IF YOU ARE USING MR. CLEAN MAGIC ERASERS....STOP!
JUST WANTED TO LET YOU ALL KNOW THAT I AM A HUGE FAN OF MAGIC ERASERS..... HOWEVER, I HAVE A FRIEND THAT TOOK ENGINEERING IN SCHOOL AND HE NOW WORKS FOR A HUGE COMPANY IN HALIFAX AND THEY GET THE HEADS UP ABOUT PRODUCTS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE. WELL HE CALLED ME LAST NIGHT AND SAID THAT I HAVE TO STOP USING THE MAGIC ERASERS AND THAT THEY ARE SLOWLY BEING BANNED FROM ALL STORES BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN THE INGREDIENT FORMALDEHYDE. YES THE CHEMICAL THEY USE TO PRESERVE DEAD PEOPLE. IT IS HIGHLY DANGEROUS TO YOUNG CHILDREN AND CAN BE HARMFUL TO YOURSELF, SO PLEASE IF YOU ARE USING THEM, THROW THEM AWAY, DON'T BUY THEM ANYMORE AND PLEASE SEND THIS ON TO ANYONE WHOM YOU THINK MIGHT USE THEM, ESPECIALLY WITH YOUNG CHILDREN.
PS- SORRY FOR THE BAD NEWS, I WAS DISAPPOINTED TOO!
Comments: False. This rumor is based on an erroneous premise that because Procter & Gamble's Mr. Clean Magic Eraser cleaning pads contain an ingredient labeled formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer, formaldehyde itself is a component of the product. This is not the case. Though formaldehyde is used in the making of the melamine foam comprising the main cleaning agent in the pads, it is not present in the product itself except possibly in trace amounts "significantly lower than standards established by governmental agencies and trade associations," says Procter & Gamble resulting from the manufacturing process.
Further, the company states that "no ingredients in Magic Eraser are subject to any health-related labeling laws in North America or in the European Union." This has been confirmed by the National Institutes of Health, which lists Mr. Clean Magic Erasers in its Household Products Database as "non-toxic."
Sources and further reading:
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Procter & Gamble response to Magic Eraser rumors
A Hand for Mr. Clean
St. Petersburg Times, 24 July 2004
Household Products Database: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
National Institutes of Health
Last updated: 07/08/06