DD is getting a sandbox for her first birthday next week and in researching sand choices to fill it with, I've come across some mixed opinions. Some sources say that regular "play" sand from the hardware store is perfectly fine, despite containing a warning that it contains silica, a potentially hazardous substance. Stiil, there are sources advocating only the use of their safe play sand, which would cost about $200, versus the $20 the regular play sand would cost. I can't imagine sand at the beach or playgrounds is anything than ordinary sand and dd plays in those places often. Any idea on this one?
Off the top of my head...
We used play sand, not construction sand to avoid hazards. If you dampen it it will mold into better sandcastles and reduce the chance of breathing in particles.
The play sand from the hardware store contains silica. Some states, like CA, require warnings about this. It can cause silicosis which is similar to black lung disease. If you were working in a mine where it came from, you would be at risk for this. There are no known cases of silicosis from play sand however they put the warning on there as it is the same kind of silica that causes silicosis. I am not sure how much silica is in there. Basically, they take rocks and the same plant that makes cement and construction sand just grinds it up finer for play sand. If you google silica free play sand, there is some out there but it is VERY expensive to use in a sand box. Many people think the risk of silicosis is so minimal that they continue to use play sand. All of the sand sold in hardware stores and toys stores has silica in it.
I did a ton of research on this last summer. We tried pea gravel and our 4 year old hated it. It is all in our garden now. I think this summer we will fill sand box with water.