The San Francisco Chronicle reports a study released by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental health advocacy organization, found asbestos fibers in some Chinese-made crayons and crime-scene fingerprint kits in Bay Area stores and online. Asbestos was found in four of 28 boxes of crayons and two of 21 kids’ fingerprint testing kits that researchers observed. The crayons were labeled with popular cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sonya Lunder, lead author of the study and senior analyst with the group, said, “The right number of children’s toys that should be contaminated with a carcinogen is zero.”
CNN reports that labels on packaging indicated that the toys and crayons with asbestos fibers “were made in China and imported to the United States.” The report by the EWG Action Fund did not list the amount of asbestos found in the products, but the powder from the crime lab kit is considered more dangerous, said Dr. Jerry Paulson, the former chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health, as they’re “much more available to the lung, where asbestos does its damage.”
TIME reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission “has no ban on the material in crayons,” but said it is “investigating the EWG’s findings.” U.S. Sens. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) called on retailers to issue a voluntarily recall of “toxic products.”
From the news release of the American Association for Justice.