Environmental group finds asbestos fibers in crayons

Crayon, Asbestos
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The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Action Fund is renewing its call on Congress to ban asbestos after tests it commissioned found fibers of the known carcinogen in four brands of crayons. 

The environmental advocacy group said an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 Americans die each year of asbestos-related diseases. Though there have been no documented cases of victims who became ill from playing with asbestos-tainted crayons or toys, the EWG Action Fund said the presence of asbestos in these products was only discovered recently and decades may pass before disease symptoms develop.

The brand of crayons that tested positive – Amscan Crayons, Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crayons and Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce – were purchased between February and May at Party City and Dollar Tree and were all made in China.

The EWG Action Fund also found traces of asbestos in two kid crime lab kits – EduScience Deluxe Forensics Lab Kit with black fingerprint powder and Inside Intelligence Secret Spy kit with white fingerprint powder – both of which were made in China. The kits were purchased from Toys “R” Us and Buy-Rite. 

The EWG Action Fund said the asbestos fibers found in the tested 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, since asbestos is often found in mines alongside talc deposits.

The group is backing the bill Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced in March to modernize the reporting requirements of the Asbestos Information Act. The Reducing Exposure to Asbestos Database (READ) Act require manufactures, importers and those who handle asbestos-containing products to annually report information to the Environmental Protection Agency about their products. The database would also list any publicly accessible location where products with asbestos have been reported in the past year.

Tags asbestos Chemistry Crayon Dick Durbin Environmental Working Group Fingerprint Talc

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