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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Asbestos: Children May Be Exposed To Dangerous Chemical Regularly Than Parents Think

Crayons

(Photo : Getty Images/ William Thomas Cain ) Four brands of children's crayons and two of kid's crime scene fingerprint kits were found to be positive for asbestos.

Last Wednesday July 8, four brands of children's crayons and two of kid's crime scene fingerprint kits were found to be positive for asbestos. Asbestos refers to fibrous minerals that are microscopic in nature, these minerals are extremely durable and resistant to fire, and these properties make it the material of choice for several products. But asbestos is now strictly prohibited because exposure to this kind of toxic mineral can be scientifically linked to a number of lung and respiratory diseases.

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In a recent investigation done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), they confirmed that several brands of crayons and some toy crime scene fingerprints kits contain asbestos, a known carcinogen and a toxic chemical to humans, Fox News reports.

The Scientific Analytical Institute of Greensboro, N.C, an independent laboratory, tested 28 boxes of crayons; the researchers found asbestos in four of them. The lab also tested 21 kid's toy crime scene fingerprint kits and found asbestos in two of them. The toy fingerprint kits had a relatively high concentration of asbestos at 1 percent.

Sonya Lunder, EWG senior researcher and one of the leading study authors, said, "This is an exposure that could easily be avoided", she added, "The threshold for exposing a kid to a carcinogenic substance when they are playing should be zero," Time has learned.

Lunder reminded consumers that even just a couple of fibers inhaled can lodge into the lungs and got stuck there forever. She added that there's a very clear evidence that asbestos can lead to two forms of cancer and that because of this fiber exposure, thousands of Americans have been killed.

The crayons that tested positive for asbestos include Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Crayons, Saban's Power Rangers Super Megaforce Jumbo Crayons and Disney's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jumbo Crayons and the ones by Amscan. Meanwhile, the two kid's toy crime scene fingerprint kits that tested positive are EduScience's Deluxe Forensics Lab Kit and Inside Intelligence's Secret Spy Kit, according to WebMD.

The crayons and toys that are positive for asbestos were made from china and they are imported to the U.S, making it hard for researchers to trace every step in the supply chain, according to Time.

Two U.S senators, Edward Markey of Democrat and Dick Durbin of Illinois, called the attention of retailers to voluntarily recall the "toxic products." They said that children's playtime should be filled with fun memories, not asbestos fibers. They added, "We need greater access to information about where asbestos is present in products children and families use every day," Time reports.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exposure to a high level of asbestos over a long period of time can cause a build-up of fibers in the lungs, which can lead to scarring, inflammation and difficulty of breathing. For its long-term effects, asbestos can cause lung cancer and cancer affecting the lungs or the abdomen lining.

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