How can dry-erase markers possibly be non-toxic?

For the white board in our office, we have the standard dry-erase markers. About 10 seconds after taking the cap off, the fumes start to get to me, and if I don’t stop using it, I will get a headache that just won’t quit.

The label says “non-toxic”, but doesn’t that reaction seem pretty damn nasty?

“Non-toxic” could probably mean anything. It sounds like the way they are using it means, “it won’t kill you.” A lot of non-toxic things can make you woozy. Alcohol, for example.

Flash: Eh, alcohol is toxic. It will kill people and bacteria and other living things. If you think it won’t, check up on cirrhosis of the liver and brain damage.

In fact, I think that anything that makes you woozy will kill you, because it must be toxic to some degree. I might be wrong, though.

Non-toxic doesn’t necessarily mean that the materials used aren’t toxic. Keep in mind this is an industry definition (probably ASTM 4236,) not a literal one. If you eat the marker, you might get sick, but you probably won’t die.

Granted. But then, isn’t almost everything toxic if consumed in large enough amounts?

Some people now say that too much water can be toxic.

My point was that alcohol, in the levels that might be found in a beer or a dry-erase marker, are not toxic (in the sense that you’ll be in the hospital or morgue tomorrow).

And, I think, that’s what the marker manufacturer meant as well.