U.S.: EWG Investigation Reveals Asbestos in Products for Children

Parents often believe that, if they read the labels on the products they buy for their children, potential harm may be avoided, but recently a non-profit organisation that functions under the US “Environmental Working Group Action Fund (EWG)”, discovered that some children’s crayons contained as much as 1% asbestos concentration. Sonya Lunder, senior researcher for EWG said, "This is an exposure that could easily be avoided!"

These were found in ordinary boxes of branded crayons for sale in the US and imported from China. The NGO tested 28 boxes of crayons and found asbestos in four of them. The report mentions specific well-known brand names, but, more importantly, it draws attention to the fact that asbestos can be found where you least expect it.

“The lesson here is that parents can’t just read labels and choose safer products by looking at the labels themselves,” said Lunder  who also noted that “There are no rules banning asbestos contamination in many consumer products and, to us, toys really stood out,” 

Dr. Phillip Landrigan, professor of paediatrics and preventative medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, also commented on the subject: “Asbestos in toys poses an unacceptable risk to children, today as it did in 2000 and 2007, the last time tests found the deadly substance in these children’s products.”