Asbestos found in crayons and other children’s toys

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The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Action Fund recently commissioned an investigation that found asbestos in several brands of crayons, as well as some toy crime scene fingerprint kits. The investigation conducted at the Scientific Analytical Institute of Greensboro, N.C., tested 28 boxes of crayons and found asbestos, a known carcinogen, in four boxes. Of the 21 toy crime scene fingerprint kits tested, asbestos was found in two kits. The World Health Organization reports that asbestos is responsible for 100,000 deaths annually and currently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has no ban on asbestos in crayons, though they regulate the material in other consumer products. Researchers were concerned to find that the asbestos in the toy fingerprint kits was relatively highly concentrated at one percent. One of the authors of this study, Sonya Lunder, also a senior researcher at EWG, reportedly told TIME, “This is an exposure that could easily be avoided. The threshold for exposing a kid to a carcinogenic chemical when they’re playing with toys should be zero.” Lunder also wanted parents to know that asbestos can be found in other children’s products. “Parents can’t just read the labels and choose safer products by looking at the labels themselves. There’s not enough information about where asbestos might be found.”

Read the full story at TIME.

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