As children are getting ready to go back to school and parents begin shopping for supplies, they might want to look at a new report by a safety advocacy group that says Playskool brand crayons purchased at a Chicago Dollar Tree store tested positive for trace amounts of potentially dangerous asbestos chemicals. According to an ABC News report, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group tested six kinds of crayons from different brands bought at stores in several states and online. According to its report, only the green Playskool crayons showed trace amounts of tremolite, a type of asbestos fiber.
Asbestos in Crayons Makes No Sense
Kara-Cook Schultz with the group told ABC News that it is completely unnecessary for crayons to contain asbestos because crayons work perfectly well without asbestos. Hasbro, which makes Playskool crayons, has said it is looking into the reports and is conducting “a thorough investigation into these claims.” U.S. PIRG says the crayons it purchased at the Chicago Dollar Tree were made in China and did not carry the AP seal, which stands for “approved product.” That seal means it’s been certified as non-toxic by The Art and Creative Materials Institute.
Several other brands of crayons were found to have asbestos fibers in 2000, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The federal agency said it believed that children could become poisoning by coloring with or chewing on tainted crayons, but that the probability of that happening was low. But the commission added that there is no reason these crayons should have asbestos at all. The commission, however, stopped short of regulating or banning asbestos in crayons. Other children’s products have recently been found to include asbestos, including makeup kits.
The Dangers of Asbestos
This discovery is coming at a time when thousands of cancer-stricken women are lining up to file lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson after using the company’s popular brands of talcum powder, which they said was contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos is not one compound, but a group of minerals that can crystallize into fibers. If the fibers are released into the air and inhaled, they can cause dangerous conditions in the lungs, and sometimes, an aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma.
It’s about time the CPSC laid down firm rules banning the use of asbestos in any consumer products including all children’s products. If you or a loved one has been injured or sickened by an everyday product, you may have a product defect lawsuit against the manufacturer. An experienced product defect lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.