Advocacy Group Found Asbestos in Popular Crayons
An organization known as The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Education Fund reports that they have discovered that crayons sold under the name “Playskool” contain asbestos.
An article published in The Washington Post explains that the group tested several 36-packs of crayons purchased from one or more Dollar Tree locations in Chicago and determined by the results that the popular toy contained “toxic levels” of asbestos.
The Playskool crayons are also sold online at Amazon, eBay and DollarDays.com.
A spokeswoman for Hasbro, which is Playskool’s parent company, says that it takes such allegations seriously and that it is currently conducting a “thorough investigation” into the claims made by the advocacy group.
Leap Year Publishing, which manufactures the crayons in question, says it is also reviewing the tests and examining other particulars.
They are based in Massachusetts and have had no prior issues with asbestos contamination.
In the meantime, U.S. PIRG is getting the word out to parents about what they now consider a toxic product.
“There is no reason to be exposing kids to a known carcinogen, especially in crayons,” said Kara Cook-Schultz, toxics director for the organization.
Dollar Tree, on the other hand, is denying the claims, noting that tests they’ve conducted through an independent laboratory show that there is no asbestos of any amount in the Playskool crayons.
“The safety of our customers and associates is our top priority,” Randy Guiler, vice president of investor relations, wrote in an email.
“We are aware of the report and have since re-verified that each of the listed products successfully passed inspection and testing.”
However, this isn’t the first time groups like U.S. PIRG have found asbestos in crayons and other children’s toys.
Three years ago, the Environmental Working Group Action Fund located four different brands of crayons, all manufactured in China, that contained hazardous asbestos particles.
As a result, Toys-R-Us, Dollar Tree, and Party City stopped selling those products, which included Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce Crayons; Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Crayons; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Crayons; and Amscan Crayons.
U.S. PIRG regularly publishes reports on toy safety and their actions have resulted in 150 product recalls and regulatory actions throughout the last 30 years.