CSI Fingerprint Examination Toy Finally Recalled for Asbestos ContaminationDec 31, 2007 | Parker Waichman LLP
The asbestos-tainted CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit—is finally asking stores to pull its product from their shelves over asbestos fears. Planet Toys, the maker of the toxic CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, is only recalling the dangerous toy now, despite the fact that lab tests in very early December revealed two types of asbestos were present in the toys fingerprint powder and Connecticut ceased sale of the toy in that state. Lab studies from the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization showed asbestos in some samples of the CSI Finger Print Examination Kit's fingerprint dust and the New York toy manufacturer has sent a "stop sale" notice to stores while it investigates whether the kits pose a health threat. Meanwhile, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says it's looking into the claims, but could not say whether an official recall would be issued. Walgreens removed the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit from its shelves and is conducting its own investigation.
Earlier this month, the Department of Consumer Protection stopped the sale of the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit in Connecticut and alerted consumers to return the item to the original place of purchase. “With the success of crime shows like CSI, it's no surprise that kids want to get in on the excitement by pretending to be crime scene investigators, but our own investigation of the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit identified a real-life culprit that must be promptly eliminated,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell Jr. “We are immediately embargoing and recalling this item in Connecticut.” The Department purchased the toys and Farrell Jr. contacted the Department of Public Health to request testing after reading a report identifying asbestos in the kit. Department inspectors are embargoing the product at all retailers statewide—including Sears, Toys ‘R Us, Kay-Bee Toys, Walgreen’s Wal-Mart, and Costco—and is sending relevant information to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which may issue a national recall.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization conducted a study with three independent labs and revealed in very early December that this kit contained two types of asbestos; however, kits remained on the shelves for weeks in Connecticut and continued to be sold elsewhere. According to the study, the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit was the product of greatest concern and contained high levels—five percent were found in the powder—of two asbestos types.
According to Farrell, “Lab results indicate that the composition and crystalline structure of the fibers is most consistent with tremolite, a form of asbestos and a toxic hazardous substance. Given the potential health hazards associated with any asbestos contact, we are removing the item from sale immediately and are asking consumers to take swift measures to make sure their children aren’t exposed to the product. There is no ‘safe’ level of asbestos.”
Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers is linked to increased risks of lung cancer, mesothelioma—a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdominal cavity—and asbestosis—in which lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue. Many feel using asbestos-containing products may explain—in part—why some non-smokers and persons with no occupational exposures develop these diseases.