If you’ve already done your back-to-school shopping and have bought your children a set of crayons at either The Dollar Store or Amazon, we’ve got bad news for you. Playskool crayons sold at The Dollar Store locations and on Amazon contain asbestos, which might have negative health effects for your child.
A green Playskool Crayon, purchased in a 36-count pack at The Dollar Tree, tested positive for tremolite, a type of asbestos, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. Now, a consumer group named the Safer School Supplies Shopping Guide is warning parents to steer clear from the crayons. They also recommended that The Dollar Tree recall the "asbestos-tainted crayons" and contact customers to warn them about the crayons.
Asbestos is a heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics, and is used in fire-resistant and insulating materials such as brake linings. In the early 1900s researchers began to notice a large number of early deaths and lung problems in asbestos-mining towns. Approximately 100,000 people in the United States have died, or are terminally ill, from asbestos exposure. The U.S. government and asbestos industry have long been criticized for not acting quickly enough to inform the public of dangers.
But if there’s one silver lining to this, it’s that thankfully, this one green crayon is the only thing that parents have to worry about, at least so far.
U.S. Public Interest Research Group toxics director Kara Cook-Schultz told CBS News in an interview, “The good news is that when we were testing three years ago, all sorts of brands came back with asbestos. Now it’s just this one.”
In its investigation, US PIRG purchased children's school supplies across the country, from big-box stores, dollar stores, drug stores, online retailers, and arts-and-crafts stores. Samples were sent to an independent laboratory in Chicago.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen that can lead to serious health conditions, including cancer in the lungs, larynx, and ovaries, as well as many cases of mesothelioma.
A Dollar Tree spokesperson said that prior to the findings, the company tested all of its products. As a result, they all passed their safety and legal standards. So far, The Dollar Tree did not comment on whether it would be recalling their crayons.