A new report from an independent US group shows a few common school supplies have toxins that are known to cause health problems.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund has been testing school products for 30 years. Its latest assessment found the Playskool brand of crayons had a green crayon that tested positive for asbestos.
Dr. Blake Froberg is a pediatrician and toxicologist with Riley Children’s Health. He says most of the research on asbestos has focused on long-term inhalation exposure.
“Within crayons it’s going to be encapsulated within the wax of the crayon and so there is probably less risk that the child is going to get inhalation exposure,” says Froberg.
The tests also identified benzene in The Board Dudes dry erase markers.
Froberg says it’s inevitable that some chemicals are present in our products.
“At the same time, I think that companies can continue to try and do their part to limit any exposure to known toxins,” says Froberg.
The companies involved responded to the report and say they do test and meet federal standards.
The study also looked at a variety of products including water bottles, lunch boxes and rulers. All tested negative.
Authors of the report are calling on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to conduct more testing.