I have some more information on Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter the source of which is a “Safety Data Sheet”. This appears to be an official assessment identifying potential hazardous materials within the litter. In a previous post I discussed the possibility that this litter is dangerous because of the dust. A person who commented on that post said that he worked in a factory where the litter was produced. He referred to a substance called perlite which he said was abrasive and which had caused him health problems.
There are clear indications that there are problems associated with the dust from this litter. The new information that has come to my notice via another comment is that it also contains a substance called crystalline silica. This is a potentially dangerous substance which in high concentrations can cause lung disease. It is said that the amount in this litter is very small and is, therefore, safe. However, with respect to “hazards” the data sheet tells us that the dust may irritate the nasal passages and over the long term “breathing small particles can be hazardous to lungs”. The dust may be irritating over the short term.
There appears to be three types of crystalline silica in this litter, namely: silica, crystalline, quartz: silica, crystalline cristobalite: silica, crystalline, tridymite. Bentonite is the main ingredient at 80% maximum percentage weight and perlite is 30% maximum percentage weight.
The whole data sheet gives the impression that this litter is hazardous. For example, the section on handling and storage states that “product contains crystalline silica which may become airborne without producing a visible dust cloud. Avoid creating dusty conditions. Use only with adequate ventilation to keep exposure below recommended exposure limits..”and so on.
Under the heading “toxicological information” it states that the “dust can be irritating to skin, eyes and nasal passages.” It states that the effect on ingesting the dust is not known.
As for environmental issues no data is available. California did grant a “Safe Use Determination” for crystalline silica in packaged mineral-based pet litter so clearly they consider it to be safe, I suppose because the amount of crystalline silica in the litter is small.
However, because of the high toxicity of this carcinogenic substance it would seem to be unsuitable to be put into a litter particularly when bearing in mind, as we know, a cat is rummaging around the litter kicking up lots of dust and therefore is exposed to far more dust than humans might be.
The fact of the matter is that having discovered that there is crystalline silica in this cat litter in addition to the other substances such as bentonite and perlite, it more or less hammers the last nail in the coffin of this product as far as I’m concerned. I hope that other people agree with me.
You can read the information sheet on this page in full.
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