Asbestos Found In Crayons: CPSC Has No Ban On Asbestos In Crayons Despite Health Concerns

A recent study by the Environmental Working Group Action Fund found that nearly 15 percent of the boxes of crayons tested contained asbestos. Despite asbestos being labeled as a known carcinogen, it is pointed out that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission does not have a ban on asbestos in crayon products. The group also found asbestos in a toy crime scene fingerprint kit at levels the group found highly concerning.

Time reports that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested 24 boxes of crayons for asbestos. They found that four of those boxes contained asbestos. In addition to testing the crayons, the group also tested children’s fingerprint kits and discovered the fingerprinting powder had an asbestos concentration level of 1 percent, a level considered “relatively high” by the group.

“An independent laboratory—the Scientific Analytical Institute of Greensboro, N.C.—tested 28 boxes of crayons and found asbestos in four of them, according to the new EWG report. The lab also tested 21 toy crime scene fingerprint kits and found asbestos in two of them. The researchers found that powder in the toy fingerprint kits had a relatively high concentration of asbestos at 1%.”

The group notes that this potentially harmful exposure could be avoided entirely if the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the inclusion of asbestos in children’s products. The group notes that the asbestos exposure level in a child’s product should be zero. Sonya Lunder, EWG senior researcher, says the study highlights the need for change.

“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.”

Asbestos Nation notes that despite the deadly nature of asbestos exposure, killing up to 15,000 Americans a year, it is still found in numerous consumer products. The group sent a warning to parents to avoid particular brands of crayons that were found to contain the asbestos. The group labeled the following products as ones to avoid.

  • Amscan Crayons
  • Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Crayons
  • Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crayons
  • Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce Crayons

The group also warned against purchasing the EduScience Deluxe Forensics Kit (black finger powder) and the Inside Intelligence Secret Spy Kit (white finger powder) as they both contained “relatively high” levels of asbestos in the powders. It was pointed out that it is hard for retailers to know exactly where the asbestos entered the supply chain as the products that tested positive were manufactured in China.

Do you think the CPSC should ban any level of asbestos in children’s products such as crayons?

[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Sandy Huffaker]