Asbestos in children’s toys

A recent study found asbestos fibers in crayons and police toys.

A recent study has caught the attention of the media and has parents double checking their children's toys. The study found that a number of toys, primarily crayons and police sets, were found to contain asbestos.

More on the study

The study was commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization that focuses on publicizing research designed to educate the public and protect both human health and the environment. The tests for the study were run by the Scientific Analytical Institute out of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Researchers with the study analyzed the contents of crayons from twenty-eight boxes as well as the contents used in twenty-one crime scene fingerprint kits. Of these samples, four crayon brands and two fingerprint kits were found to contain asbestos.

EWG notes that the asbestos contamination of these products is likely connected to talc. Talc is used in both crayons and fingerprint powder. Talc mines often contain asbestos and it is not uncommon for asbestos to contaminate talc.

Dangers of asbestos

Although the exact amount of asbestos in these products is not revealed, it is important to note that exposure to asbestos is extremely dangerous. In fact, scientists with EWG state that "there is no safe level of asbestos exposure."

When airborne, the fibers can enter the lungs. Once in the lungs, the fibers can remain for decades. Constant irritation and exposure to this dangerous substance is linked to the development of mesothelioma, asbestosis and other deadly diseases.

Asbestos is particularly dangerous since symptoms generally do not appear for many years after exposure.

Congress takes action

Based on EWG's report, a group of Senators contacted the retailers connected to these products. A recent article in The Hill, an online source focusing on political happenings, states that four retailers responded to the request and removed the products from their shelves.

Remedies available for victims

This study provides one example of how individuals can be exposed to asbestos. Exposure often occurs in the workplace, examples include:

  • Military service. Those who have served in the armed forces, navy, air force and other branches of military are at an increased risk of exposure to asbestos. Asbestos was a popular material due to its heat resistance. As a result, it was often used in ships, automobiles, aircraft and tanks used by the military.
  • Construction. The same heat and flame resistance qualities of asbestos that made it a favorable material for military products also made it beneficial for construction. The product was used in a variety of products, including insulation and drywall.
  • Auto work. Asbestos was also used in various auto parts, including brake components. As a result, those who work in the auto manufacturing or auto repair industries are also at an increased risk of exposure.

These are just a few examples of those who are at a high risk for exposure. It is also important to note that loved ones can be exposed as asbestos fibers can be transported on clothing to the workers' home.

Those who develop asbestos related diseases may qualify for legal remedies. This can lead to compensation to help cover the high cost of medical care and treatment. Contact an experienced asbestos exposure attorney to discuss your options and better ensure your legal rights are protected.