Earlier this month, an advocacy group tested numerous crayons found in nationwide chain stores and online for asbestos. Although the results indicate that several brands of crayons being sold contain asbestos, numerous Vermont stores, which promised to remove the crayons, are still carrying them on their store’s shelves.
Bob Dain, owner of The Tiny Acorn toy store in Waterbury, Vermont, states that crayons are not sold at his store. He makes sure to test all products for safety after his wife, Sally Dain, purchases them. He says that he uses his past experience as a lead inspector to help him decide which products are safe.
“We have very loyal customers who have a lot of kids and we want to make sure their kids are always safe. I check the product to make sure they’re all sound and safe and together the way they are supposed to be. I also check to make sure the manufacturer safety slip is in there verifying they’ve passed the required government inspections for the ingredients and materials used in their products.”
Vermont State Toxicologist Sarah Vose states that asbestos found in crayons aren’t necessarily dangerous and there is no need for parents to panic.
“If asbestos is embedded in the waxy part of the crayon and people or children swallow that, it’s likely that asbestos is going to stay embedded in that wax and would not be available to harm a person’s body, but it’s definitely an individual choice. Each parent will want to make their own decision.”
The EWG Action Fund, an advocacy group the found numerous different asbestos-containing crayon brands, disagrees. The organization wants all of the crayon brands banned from shelves until a safer ingredient can replace asbestos. Other organizations, such as the American Cancer Society (ACS) have confirmed that there is no safe amount of asbestos, regardless of how small the risk may be.
The crayon brands found to have asbestos include:
- Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Crayons
- Amscan Crayons
- Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce Crayons
- Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crayons
Vermont stores including Dollar Store and Party City stated that the crayons would be removed from the stores’ shelves, but when a local investigator visited the stores, both Dollar Tree and Party City still had them available.
Dain feels that the larger stores need more quality control before putting any children’s toys and crayons on its shelves. Whereas he owns a small local store and can test each product himself, he feels that the larger chain stores aren’t taking the time needed to check products before they land in the hands of unsuspecting children.
“I’m surprised but I’m glad it was found out. The worst thing that could happen is you have a problem and it’s not found out for quite a while until it causes serious problems. Children will chew on crayons and the asbestos will be ingested.”
Meanwhile, a few toys were found to contain asbestos as well, including the EduScience Deluxe Forensics Lab Kit and the Intelligence Secret Spy Kit. Both toy kits contain powdery substances that contain asbestos, which can easily be inhaled. Popular toy store Toys R’ Us carries both kits, but so far, they are only reviewing the reports. The kits still remain on the shelves.
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