Most of today’s custom rubber wristbands are made from a specific material: silicone. So what is silicone? Most people are familiar with it more as a cosmetic surgery term than a material used in merchandise production. But silicone can come in many forms and grades. Some medical grade silicone is being used at your local hospital right now. That girl you just passed on the street… Something looked a little asymmetrical… What was it I wonder?
So what is the deal with the silicone toy store used in the popular silicone wristbands? It’s a bonded polymer substance that possesses what the scientists (and very smart laymen) call “elastomeric qualities”. These qualities lend the silicone various beneficial traits, such as being both resistant to water and a reasonable amount of heat. Prolonged exposure to the sun will make your silicone wristband sad, as this polymer does not like constant UV exposure.
(If your head hurts, don’t worry. The hard part of this article is over. And if it makes you feel better, I almost passed out after writing that).
You probably came here because you’re concerned that silicone may not be safe, right? Is this you:
“I have kids. Is silicone safe for them to wear all the time? Is there anything toxic in it?”
No, imaginary person! Silicone is a very common, safe product. It is free of lead and other harmful toxins. It’s also chemically inert, which means it will not react with other common chemicals your kids may find around your house. If it gets hot, it will not release any harmful fumes and if licked, it won’t transfer anything harmful to the quirky little licker.
Silicone is not considered a hazardous waste. This unfortunately does not mean it’s biodegradable. The lifespan of this polymer is extremely long. But on the bright side? Silicone wristbands can be recycled after their lifetime as a fashion accessory has run its course.