Following recent investigations conducted by a team of researchers from the Environmental Working Group, children’s crayons and other toys contained a highly-toxic substance known as asbestos. Although it’s been banned for many years, the dangerous material was discovered after they researchers analyzed some toys manufactured in China.
Following extensive examination, the scientists discovered that four boxes of crayons out of 28 tested positive for asbestos. Some of the boxes were sold under the names of popular cartoon characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Power Rangers.
But the researchers didn’t find asbestos only in children’s crayons, they also found it in two out of 21 toy crime scene fingerprint kits. The analysis was done using highly sensitive methods for detecting toxic materials. The team of researchers who analyzed the toys are from the Scientific Analytical Institute, which is an agency certified by the U.S Government based in Greensboro, North Carolina.
According to the scientists, all the toys and crayons that tested positive for asbestos were labeled as being made in China and imported in the United States. Dr. Philip Landrigan, from the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and an expert in asbestos, said that this material is extremely toxic and poses a serious threat to children’s health. He added that the last time scientists found traces of asbestos in children’s toys was in 2000 and 2007.
According to the experts from the National Institutes of Health, being exposed to a high level of asbestos over a longer period of time may lead to serious health problems, including fibers in the lungs, which can cause inflammations, scarring and breathing problems. Also, the researchers said that inhaling asbestos can lead to lung cancer as well as cancer of the abdomen.
The scientists explained that children’s crayons that have been contaminated can release microscopic fibers of asbestos when the crayons are being used for drawing. According to the largest crayon manufacturer in the world, Crayola, by the age of ten, an American child can wear down an average of 730 crayons. This means that if the crayons are contaminated with any toxic substance, the chances of children inhaling those substances are alarmingly high.
The research revealed that the contaminated crayons and toys that were made in China were sold online on Amazon and other retailer platforms.
Asbestos is one of the main causes of a rare type of cancer known as mesothelioma.
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