According to a recently released report, multiple brands of toy detective kits and crayons have tested positive for the cancer-causing component called asbestos. The report has been prepared by an environmental group that has been campaigning to convince the government for cracking down on the substance since a long time.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Action Fund worked in partnership with a couple of independent laboratories for testing crime scene fingerprint kits and crayons used by kids for asbestos. The samples tested matched the one purchased from national retailers.
The test revealed that as many as two brands of crime scene kits and four brands of crayons have tested positive for asbestos. This happened in spite of previous promises from toy manufacturers that they would make sure that goods manufactured by them will not contain any potentially harmful substance.
Each of the products found to contain asbestos was manufactured in China and later got imported in the US. According to the report, the toys contain microscopic fibers of the carcinogenic substance that kids might end up inhaling when playing with them.
Although the chances of getting exposed to asbestos from the items tested are relatively low, health experts and environmental researchers are arguing that kids should not have any amount of asbestos around them. This is primarily because the government has already admitted that there’s nothing called “safe level of exposure” for this substance.
Pediatrics professor Dr. Philip Landrigan, who practices at the Mt. Sinai Hospital, said that the risk imposed on kids by asbestos present in toys and crayons is absolutely unacceptable. Prof. Landrigan used to operate as one of the senior advisors of the US Environment Protection Agency.
The majority of the people don’t get sick after getting exposed to low levels of asbestos. Chances of falling ill are high when there’s prolonged exposure to the substance. When inhaled, asbestos fiber might scar tissues in our lungs and might increase our chances of developing respiratory disorders and lung cancer.
Getting exposed to asbestos from a very young age means the organs are getting more time to succumb to the ill effects of the material. Such exposures might influence one’s health decades later.
A coauthor of the study Sondra Lunder said that the report is not meant for scaring parents. According to Lunder, they have put together the facts to establish that asbestos will keep on bothering us until the government announces clear rules to stop its use.