Out of the 28 boxes of crayons that were tested, four of them contained asbestos, according to the report. These are: Amscan Crayons, Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crayons and Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce.
Two out of the 21 kids’ detective sets, specifically in the fingerprint kit, also tested positive for asbestos: EduScience Deluxe Forensics Lab Kit and Inside Intelligence Secret Spy Kit.
All brands mentioned are made in China. The testing was done by the Scientific Analytical Institute of Greenboro.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that is most known for its heat-resistant property. It’s used in numerous manufactured goods including coatings and building materials, and is sometimes still used as a binding agent in crayons and in the powder of children’s fingerprint kits.
When inhaled, the asbestos fibers get stuck in the lungs. These can cause internal scarring and inflammation over time which can eventually lead to lung cancer, said the U.S. National Cancer Institute. According to the World Health Organization, asbestos is responsible for more than 100,000 deaths worldwide annually.
Study co-author Sonya Lunder told Time that exposure to asbestos could easily be avoided, and mentioned how Crayola pledged to stop using the hazardous mineral back in 2000. “So it’s clearly possible to make crayons without it,” she noted.
Sources: July 8, 2015. "Deadly Substance Found in Crayons and Other Kids’ Toys". yahoo.com July 8, 2015. "Investigation Finds Asbestos in Crayons and Kids’ Toys". time.com