Some children’s crayons sold in the United States and decorated with characters like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and Mickey Mouse, and children’s crime labs contain carcinogenic fibers presumably from the use of asbestos-contaminated talc, according to a report released by the Environmental Working Group Action Fund.
The crayons and fingerprinting kits were manufactured in China and sold in U.S. stores including Toys “R” Us and Dollar Tree.
According to the report, this is the third time in 15 years asbestos has been found in crayons or fingerprinting kits marketed to children. Asbestos is actually a fibrous version of one of a number of minerals that contain microscopic fibers that, if inhaled, can scar the lungs and cause a devastating cancers of the lungs.
Talc is often used in the manufacturing of some products, mostly building products such as insulation and shingles. But it is also used as a binding agent for some products.
Experts with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration say there is no “safe” level of asbestos exposure. Even a few days can cause serious harm. In some cases, it can take years for injuries related to asbestos exposure to surface.
Despite these risks, the U.S. Product Safety Commission has yet to place any regulations or bans on talc in products marketed to children.
Asbestos may also be found in talcum powder, the same powders sold for use in cosmetics and personal hygiene products including baby powder and body powder. Talc has also been linked to cases of ovarian cancer in women who have used talc-containing products on their genitals for personal hygiene.
Source: Fair Warning