6 August 2018

Asbestos found in children’s crayons

Traces of asbestos have been found in a popular brand of children’s crayons in the United States. This latest discovery follows a similar occurrence in July 2015.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) has released its annual safety evaluation of toys and school supplies showing Playskool crayons testing positive for asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral which can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma if inhaled or ingested. The group tested 36-packs of crayons which were purchased from Dollar Tree in Chicago but can also be purchased online from Amazon and eBay.

The U.S. PIRG recommended Dollar Tree and Playskool recall the asbestos-tainted crayons and remove them from store shelves, and contact customers to warn them about the crayons.

Images of the Asbestos Tremolite fibres identified during the tests can be seen in Appendix A of the report. However, Dollar Tree Executives said independent tests have indicated that its crayons do not contain asbestos.

These findings come three years after similar revelations that four brands of crayons manufactured in China contained toxic asbestos fibres. Amazon, Toys R Us, Party City and Dollar tree stopped selling the crayons as a result. (The affected brands were Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce Crayons; Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Crayons; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Crayons; and Amscan Crayons.)

The PIRG says that finding asbestos in only one crayon brand is progress.

To date, we are not aware if any testing has been carried out on products bought in the UK