Is Your Child Coloring with Asbestos?

According to a recent article by Brian Bienkowski with Environmental Health news, some children’s crayons and play, crime lab kits contain cancer-causing, lung damaging asbestos fibers.  A report, commissioned by the environmental nonprofit Environmental Working Group Action Fund, found four brands of children’s crayons out of 28 boxes tested and two of 21 children fingerprint kits contained asbestos. Asbestos Fibers and Children

The recent report found asbestos in:  Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse crayons, Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle crayons and Saban’s Power Ranger Super Megaforce crayons and Amscan crayons.  The two children’ fingerprint kits that contained asbestos were:  EduScience Deluve Forensics Lab Kit (black finger print powder) and Inside Intelligence Secret Spy Kit (white fingerprint powder).  All of the products that tested positive for asbestos were made in China and imported to the US.

Asbestos Fibers and Children Are Not a Good Mix

The asbestos fibers can separate and the particles released into the air and inhaled, leading to lung problems.  Experts say there is no “safe” level of asbestos exposure.  Even short exposures, just a few days, can cause serious lung problems according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

While the fingerprint powder could easily be inhaled, for crayons the concern is that children might eat them. 

“Some may say they’re (children) are not at risk of a very high level of exposure, but children are much more reactive to toxic materials and we’re dealing with a carcinogen,” said Richard Lemen, retired US Assistant Surgeon General who specialized in occupational health. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to asbestos as a child means there’s more time for an asbestos-related illness to develop later in life. 

Scott Wolfson, communications director at the US product Safety Commission, said the agency is taking the new report “very seriously.”

According to Sonya Lunder, report co-author and senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group Action Fund, It is unclear how the asbestos got into the crayons and crime kits, but it was likely a contaminant of talc used as a binding agent in the crayons and in the powder in the fingerprint kits.  Asbestos is often found near talc deposits. 

Be safe not sorry, check the crayons and spy kits your children may be playing with.  

Read the complete story at Environmental News.

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