I purchased green bamboo sticks for my organic garden sold by the Saferbrand Division of Woodstream and manufactured in China. My hands were smudged with green after placing them in my garden.
I am a recently retired union representative with extensive professional experience in the area of hazardous materials in regards to industrial health and safety.
I contacted the Customer Service Department of Woodstream/Saferbrand and exercised my legal right to request an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the green dye. When it was not forthcoming, I called back and the rep read an e-mail from his supervisor citing OSHA and other statutes to the effect that MSDS do not exist for the type of product in question.
I informed the rep of my professional background and that his employer's legal position was false; threatening legal action if the MSDS was not received in a timely manner. It arrived several days later.
The dye is manufactured from Malachite Green Oxalate.
It is classified on the MSDS as "HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE DANGEROUS GOODS."
"Recommended Use: 'For use in hospital and pathology laboratories only as a microbiological staining solution.'"
The MSDS advises protective clothing for workers handling the substance and thorough washing with soap and water if splashed on skin.
Following is a link where I found detailed analysis regarding toxicity and regulation:
While I have not researched other brands, I have got to assume that there is a strong possibility of the green dye being similar in regards other stained bamboo sticks made in China (which has a history of using this substance in a variety of applications.)
This is not what any of us had in mind when we established an organic garden to enhance our healthy lifestyles.