A new report, published by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, analyzes the safety of school supplies. The advocacy group’s annual report found that Playskool crayons, sold at a Chicago Dollar Tree, contain asbestos chemicals.
Trace amounts of asbestos were found in the crayons.
The study analyzed six different brands of crayons purchased across several states and online. Playskool’s green crayons had traces of tremolite, a type of asbestos fiber, in the crayon. Dollar Tree has acknowledged the findings and states that the company conducts stringent testing on all products to ensure that they meet or exceed standards.
The company claims that each product listed has been reverified and has passed inspection and testing.
Playskool’s parent company, Hasbro, took a different approach and claims that the company is investigating the reports. The company claims that the safety of children is their top priority and will work with Leap Year, the licensee of the product, to investigate the issue.
Leap Year claims that the company will be re-verifying their products to ensure that they’re safe and free from asbestos.
Playskool isn’t the only brand of crayons to have tested positive for asbestos. Four other brands of crayons tested positive for asbestos during a study by the Environmental Working Group Action Fund three years ago.
The four brands of crayons were all manufactured in China and were pulled from the shelves of Dollar Tree, Party City, Toys R Us and Amazon.
Federal law does not regulate asbestos found in children’s products, but asbestos is not allowed in some consumer products, schools and drinking water.
Asbestos, in the case of crayons, is often a byproduct of talc. Talc, which can be found in baby powder, cosmetics and other products, is mined where asbestos also occurs. Talc is refined and tested to ensure that asbestos doesn’t make its way into products. Companies are failing to refine the talc properly, allowing trace amounts of asbestos to make its way into crayons and other products.