Sharpie is a brand name for a line of permanent markers manufactured by Sanford sold in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Latin America, Australia, and parts of Europe. They are known for their ability to write a clear, well-defined, non-smudging, durable line on glossy surfaces.
The Sharpie marker was introduced in 1960s. Since then, it has been expanded into a wide product line and multiple colors. Today, Sharpies are sold in seven varieties, according to the shape and size of their tip(s), ranging from "Ultra Fine" to "Magnum". They also come in thirty-nine ink colors, along with a single variety in metallic silver for marking on dark surfaces. Metallic gold and copper versions were introduced as well, but these have been discontinued due to problems with the ink formula. In 2004, Sanford released a new line of Sharpies that have a button-activated retractable tip rather than a cap. Sharpie Paint markers were also introduced. In 2005, the company's popular Accent highlighter brand was repositioned under the Sharpie brand name. A new version of Sharpie, called Sharpie Mini, was launched; the markers are half the size of a normal Sharpie and feature a clip to attach the Sharpie to a keychain or lanyard.
Each Sharpie has a printed seal Art & Creative Materials Institute certifying the marker as being non-toxic for normal use.
Many, including team officials, expressed dismay at the apparent arrogance of the move and the implication that Owens' attention was directed toward commercial exploitation of his athletic successes. However, team officials did not discipline him for the incident, and the 49ers went on to win the game.
In interviews, he called the pen a "Sharpie" by name. Many speculated that Owens hoped to win an endorsement deal from Sanford. Bob Daenen, brand manager for the Sharpie line, originally said company officials were not interested. However, a year later, Sharpie enlisted Owens for a promotion entitled "Sharpie Metallic AUTOgraphs for Education," involving small donations of cash and school supplies to Bay Area schools.
Apparently, many celebrities have personalized Sharpies as well, but Sanford North America president Howard Heckes told U.S. News and World Report that "it's pretty cool" to supply the President of the United States. "Sharpies are good for the President of the United States or the president of the PTA," Heckes said in a September 2006 interview.
Only the fine point markers feature every color. Metallic colors are available only in fine point.
Though Sharpie ink will become permanent after setting, it can be easily erased for several hours after writing on many glossy (non-porous) surfaces, most readily smooth metal and glass. Since the ink is based on propanol, butanol and diacetone alcohols, denatured alcohol will remove permanent ink writing from almost all non-porous surfaces. WD-40 will work moderately well on recent markings if alcohol is not available. Sharpie ink that has dried for more than several hours can be removed with acetone, but due to the power of the solvent, acetone may damage the surface material. On some surfaces, the ink can be removed by coloring over the ink with a dry erase marker and then removing the Sharpie ink and dry erase marker ink with a dry cloth. Steam cleaning has proved effective also. Magic Eraser has also proven somewhat effective on hard surfaces such as brick and very effective on wood furniture.
"The new AP (Approved Product) Seal, with or without Performance Certification, identifies art materials that are safe and that are certified in a toxicological evaluation by a medical expert to contain no materials in sufficient quantities to be toxic or injurious to humans, including children, or to cause acute or chronic health problems. This seal is currently replacing the previous non-toxic seals: CP (Certified Product), AP (Approved Product), and HL Health Label (Non-Toxic) over a 10-year phase-in period. Such products are certified by ACMI to be labeled in accordance with the chronic hazard labeling standard, ASTM D 4236, and the U. S. Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA)."
They are considered non-toxic for "normal uses," meaning writing on posters, soccer balls, and such. However, they are not meant for use on skin or fingernails. It might take over an ounce of ink from a Sharpie to cause a lethal reaction, and if a Sharpie is used on the skin it generally won't cause an immediate or obvious health effect. However, according to the manufacturer's safety data sheets (MSDS), various Sharpies contain: n-propanol, n-butanol, diacetone alcohol,, and cresol. The first of these, n-propanol, is commonly used in cosmetics. The other three, however, are industrial solvents, chemicals that should not be sniffed, eaten, or put on the skin. As solvents they penetrate the skin and fingernails, and do enter the bloodstream.
Magnum Sharpie, King Size Sharpie, and Touch-up Sharpie products contain xylene. The Magnum and King Size Sharpies also contain cresol. However, all other products in the Sharpie line do not contain either of these chemicals, and are considered safe under normal use conditions.
These chemicals are not tested for human consumption, only incidental environmental exposure. So the chemical manufacturers' technical data sheets on these chemicals are ambiguous with respect to how much should be considered a hazardous dosage, but do warn of kidney, liver, and brain damage, other nervous disorders, and DNA effects resulting in birth defects. OSHA has set permissible exposure limits (PEL) at 100ppm for n-butanol, 50ppm for diacetone alcohol, and 5ppm for cresol.