Dems say retailers have responded to asbestos in children's products

Senate Democrats say four retailers have responded to their calls to remove from store shelves children’s products that tested positive for asbestos fibers.

Last month, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Action Fund found fibers of asbestos in four brands of crayons that were purchased at Party City and Dollar Tree, and two crime lab kits that were purchased from Toys “R” Us and Buy-Rite. 

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Sens. Edward MarkeyEd MarkeyDems: Keep gun research ban out of spending bills Overnight Tech: Groups grade Clinton tech agenda | Facebook activates safety check in Istanbul | Another holdup for location data bill Overnight Cybersecurity: US sees drop in Chinese cyberattacks MORE (D-Mass.) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinClinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Reid backs House Puerto Rico bill McConnell pledges redo vote on Zika after break MORE (D-Ill.) responded by sending letters asking the retailers to voluntarily stop selling the contaminated products, remove any remaining stock from their store shelves and allow customers to return products that have been purchased.

On Friday, the lawmakers said all four responded to their request and several took additional steps to retest the products themselves and call on their suppliers to reformulate products without substances that could cause asbestos contamination.

The brands of crayons were Amscan Crayons, Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crayons and Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce. The crime lab finger printing kits were the EduScience Deluxe Forensics Lab Kit with black fingerprint powder and Inside Intelligence Secret Spy kit with white fingerprint powder.

In its report, EWG Action Fund said the asbestos fibers found in the products most likely came from contaminated talc, which is used as a binding agent in crayons and in the powder used in crime scene fingerprint kits, because asbestos is often found in mines alongside talc deposits.

“We commend these four companies for their good corporate citizenship and commitment to protecting children and families from contaminated products,” Durbin and Markey said in a joint statement. “In order to ensure toxic products never again reach the hands of America’s children, the [Consumer Product Safety Commission] CPSC should ban talc from children’s products and issue a rule on asbestos modeled on the existing rules for lead or phthalates in toys.”

The lawmakers would not publicly disclose the responses from the companies.