Researchers recently found that several popular children’s crayon brands contain asbestos. Parents assume that if a toy is allowed on America’s store shelves, it must be safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always true, as recent research commissioned by the EWG Action Fund shows. Tests revealed that samples of four brands of children’s crayons and two kids’ crime scene fingerprint kits contain deadly asbestos fibers.
Many erroneously believe that asbestos has been banned in America. Not so. While use of asbestos is prohibited in the manufacture of various products including certain types of insulation and paper, it’s still legally and widely used in other products like clothing, roofing felt, vinyl floor tiles and automotive parts. This is despite the fact that asbestos is a known carcinogen that kills up to 15,000 Americans a year. Asbestos-caused medical conditions including lung disease, lung cancer and mesothelioma typically are the result of breathing in tiny asbestos particles that become airborne.
Findings of the tests on children’s products are particularly troubling considering that a child exposed to asbestos is 3.5 more likely than a 25-year-old to develop mesothelioma, according to the according to the UK Committee on Carcinogenicity. Unfortunately, because it’s a progressive disease that can take years, even decades to develop, diagnosis typically happens in later stages with high mortality rates. “Asbestos in toys poses an unacceptable risk to children, today as it did in 2000 and 2007, the last time tests found the deadly substance in these children’s products,” says Dr. Philip Landrigan, professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital. Landrigan is an internationally- recognized expert in the area of asbestos and other toxic materials and a former senior adviser to the US Environmental Protection Agency on children’s environmental health.
Products proven to contain asbestos in the tests include:
- Amscan crayons
- Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse crayons
- Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle crayons
- Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce crayon boxes
- Edu Science Deluxe Forensic Lab Kits (black fingerprint powder)
- Inside Intelligence Secret Spy Kit (white fingerprint powder)
These products all were made in China, imported to the US and sold at popular retailers including Party City and Dollar Tree as well as online at ToysRUs.com and Amazon.com. Reports of the test results have prompted inquiries by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. If your children use or play with any of the products listed, product liability attorneys with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell strongly recommend that you replace them with safer brands. If you believe your child has suffered an injury or illness caused by the faulty manufacture of a toy, contact us at 800-251-1111.