The EWG Action Fund recently issued a report showing that four out of 28 crayon boxes and two of 21 toy crime lab kits contained asbestos. The findings have prompted the group to call for a ban on asbestos in consumer products. Asbestos is a harmful substance that has been linked to serious health conditions, including lung disease, lung cancer and mesothelioma. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure occurs when material containing asbestos is disturbed and the particles become airborne.
Asbestos has been found in children’s products in the past, although it is not common. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer found asbestos in crayons in 2000 and Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization detected the substance in a toy fingerprint exam kit in 2007. 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,”
CNN reports that the following crayon boxes tested positive for asbestos: 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 indicate the amount of asbestos in these products. The affected products were manufactured in China and imported to the United States.
“Parents do need to be concerned about particular brands of products where asbestos was identified,” said Dr. Jerry Paulson, the former chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health to CNN.
Paulson said the fingerprint powder was a point of concern. “Powders make this material much more available to the lung, where asbestos does its damage,” he told CNN.