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Some Kids' Crayons and Toy Crime Lab Kits Contain Asbestos Report Shows

Jul 10, 2015

A consumer advocacy group has found asbestos in children's crayons and toy crime lab kits, CNN reports. In a recently released report, the EWG Action Fund says four out of 28 crayon boxes and two of 21 toy crime lab kits tested positive for the carcinogen. In light of the report, the group is calling for a ban on asbestos in consumer products.

Dr. Jerry Paulson, the former chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on Environmental Health, who was not involved in the report, said "Parents do need to be concerned about particular brands of products where asbestos was identified," according to CNN. Individuals are exposed to asbestos when material containing the substance gets disturbed and the particles are released into the air and breathed in, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Asbestos exposure has been associated with serious health conditions, including lung disease, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

The crayons and crime lab kits containing asbestos were manufactured in China and shipped to the United States. According to CNN, the following crayon boxes tested positive: Amscan Crayons purchased at Party City as well as Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crayons and Saban's Power Rangers Super Megaforce boxes purchased at Dollar Tree. The two crime lab kits that tested positive for asbestos were the black fingerprint powder in the Edu Science Deluxe Forensics Lab Kit, bought at ToysRUs.com, and the white fingerprint powder from the Inside Intelligence Secret Spy kit, bought on Amazon.com. The report does not say how much asbestos is in these products.

Paulson said the fingerprint powder was particularly worrisome. "Powders make this material much more available to the lung, where asbestos does its damage," he told CNN.

Although uncommon, finding asbestos in children's products is not new. The EWG Action Fund study was prompted by earlier findings; the Seattle Post-Intelligencer detected asbestos in crayons in 2000. In 2007, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization found the substance in a toy fingerprint exam kit. Sonya Lunder, co-founder of the report, told CNN "It is really shocking to have had these two reports previously raise attention to the issue (and) have manufacturers pledge to pay more attention and to see there are still products on the shelf that have talc, which is contaminated with asbestos in many cases,"


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