Fun fact: If a food contains less than 1g of sugar per serving size it can be marked as 0 sugar. Companies will change the serving size to be smaller to mark the box zero sugar. It contains some sugar but not enough to count. But what happens if you eat an entire box? Those little bits add up.
It makes sense that the same rule applies to other things right? So let’s say small amounts of toxins are allowed in a product meant for industrial use. That small amount adds up the more you use.
So if something is technically safe to be used a certain way. Nobody knows the I’ll effects it could have by using it a different way. If it’s “safe” in small amounts, who knows how dangerous it could be in large amounts when all those micro measurements of allowed toxins add up.
So what does that have to do with mermaids tails? Caulk!
Silicone caulk is made to be used for sealing sinks, tubs, aquariums, other household appliances and spaces. It’s available at the hardware store and can be very dangerous when uncured. When cured it’s only tested for things like accidental food contact or long term mold resistance. So why do some people think it’s a good idea to take a somewhat toxic material made for sinks and smear multiple tubes of it on themselves to make mermaid tails? I honestly don’t know. Here’s what I do know:
Things meant for consumption have high standards and regulations because it’s a safety issue. Things meant for construction are just marked as dangerous they don’t do any experiments to see how it will effect people long term Because why waste money testing things for skin contact and long term exposure when it’s not meant for things like that in the first place?
Some caulkings are marked “meets standard for accidental food contact” this means, if it’s on your sink (where it’s supposed to be used) and you accidentally drop food on it then quickly scoop it up and eat it. You will be fine. It meets the absolute minimum to be considered safe but only a one time accidental contact.
Some caulks are marked aquarium safe. There is a big misconception that aquarium safe and skin safe are the same thing. When used on an aquarium and allowed to properly cure it is safe for fish. It hasn’t been tested for repeated skin exposure. It’s not tested for stretching, will stretching it over and over cause it to break down and perhaps release some toxins? We don’t know it hasn’t been tested for that because it’s not supposed to be used that way!
Why would you risk things like blood poisoning, cancer, and killing animals you are swimming with? To save money? Well you won’t save much because caulk tails don’t stretch and don’t last so you will have to pay to make a new tail soon anyway. Tail-makers have been experimenting with different types of silicones for years and have determined dragonskin to be the best. It’s safe and it’s long lasting and stretchy. If something else worked just as well and was cheaper, we wouldn’t be paying $200 a gallon for dragonskin. Just do it the safe way and save everyone some time and some trouble.