Consumer group U.S. PIRG Education Fund is alerting parents who buy school supplies at Dollar Tree to pay attention to those purchases after several Playskool crayons tested positive for asbestos, containing carcinogen. The fund is recommending that Dollar Tree recall these crayons due to the damage it can cause to an individual. When asbestos particles get in the air, they run a risk of causing lung cancer and mesothelioma, especially in younger children.
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Although some of these school products are not banned by the federal government, they could pose a risk to children due to the toxic chemical they contain. It is legal to have asbestos in crayons sold, however, government agencies and scientist point that it isn’t necessary to expose children to asbestos.
The group tested 36 packs of the canyons purchased at a Dollar Tree located in Chicago, noting they are also being sold at eBay, Amazon, and Dollardays.com. Kara Cook-Schultz, U.S. PIRG education fund toxics director stated it was completely unnecessary for these crayons to contain asbestos, and the company does know how to produce crayons without asbestos, exposing several health conditions.
US PIRG shared a safe shopping guide, warning parents about several products when it comes to school supplies. The group is also recommending Dollar Tree to recall the Jot one inch three-ring binders sold in their stores, and recommended Amazon recall Expo scented ink dry erase markers. Both items are said to have benzene, a chemical that is also considered hazardous.
Aside from the Playskool brand, the group tested five other crayon brands which were found to be asbestos-free, including Roadster Racers, Crayola, RoseArt, Up by Target, Cra-Z-Art, and Disney Junior Mickey. In regards to the allegations, Randy Guiler, Vice President of investor relation at Dollar Tree, told KOCO News 5 that the safety of their customers and associates were top priority. The have since re-verified that each of the listed products successful passed inspection and any testing before selling them.
U.S. PIRG is recommending parents to and teachers to look for the Art and Creative Materials “AP” label on products, indicating they are nontoxic.