Toy super store Toy R Us have removed a number of products from its shelves over the discovery of asbestos being used in the manufacturing.
A number of children’s toys have been found to contain harmful amounts of asbestos. Testing carried out on products imported from China showed significant amounts of asbestos present in the products. The two products that caused the concern were a crime scene fingerprint kits and generic crayons. These goods were exported from China to the USA and were to be sold in the toy super chain Toys R Us.
Although asbestos is known to have direct links to cancer and has been widely banned across most western countries, it still remains unlegislated in the USA with over 15,000 deaths attributed to it annually.
Some of the brands contaminated included: Amscan Crayons; Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse; Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Crayons and Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce, Edu Science Deluxe Forensics Lab Kit and Inside Intelligence Secret Spy Kit.
In a statement released to the public Toys R Us have said they are “reviewing the referenced report, along with supplier test reports, to ensure full compliance to our strict safety standards”. All other companies involved have not yet made any official comment on the issue.
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that: “There is no ‘safe’ level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fibre.”
Between the two contaminated products, the fingerprint kits was found to contain the highest levels of asbestos, considering this was a powder-based product gives much cause for concern amongst parents.
“This is an exposure that could easily be avoided,” said Sonya Lunder, EWG’S senior researcher and one of the study’s authors. “The threshold for exposing a kid to a carcinogenic chemical when they’re playing with toys should be zero.”
In 2000 and 2007 similar issues arose when asbestos was found in childrens toys, however, this latest discovery can be put up to a lack of legislation governing the manufacture of crayons by Consumer Product Safety Commission.