On a recent trip to a department store, I found an unusual pencil offering – “Ticonderoga Antimicrobial Pencils with Microban antimicrobial product protection.” The package additionally says “Microban protection inhibits the growth of odor and stain causing bacteria.”
The colour is hard for me to describe, but a hospital influenced muted grey seems roughly correct. It is certainly a pencil colour I’ve never seen before. Not too appealing, I would say.
The pencils are simply marked “Dixon Ticonderoga 2 HB”. The package reveals that the pencils are made in Mexico.
A quick search reveals that Microban is a chemical treatment that will prohibit microbial growth. The health and safety benefits of antimicrobial products have been regularly questioned, and I note that Dixon was quite restrained in claiming any safety benefits on the package. Still, I think there is an unambiguous implicit message in such products: keep safe from those nasty germs!
I’m usually happy to find a new pencil, but learning of this product doesn’t produce any sort of joy for me.
Will this be a popular back-to-school pencil with worried parents? Do you welcome the antimicrobial Ticonderoga? Would you buy it yourself?