Since we know kids pick up germs at every turn at school (especially elementary school where they often share supplies), it seems as good an idea as any to create a pencil that actually "inhibits the growth of bacteria."
The Ticonderoga® Pencil with Microban® antimicrobial protection (say that fast three times!) features a finish containing "Microban technology," an ingredient that the company says shuts bacteria down. The eraser is latex-free.
I found them for as low as $2.98 per dozen, still a little steep for pencils to me (I'm a cheapy), but with scares like the swine flu dominating the news, I wouldn't be surpised if they suddenly flew off the shelves.
Do you think this is a good idea? Would you buy your kids antimicrobial pencils?