[MOL] Asbestos found in crayons.... [01161] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Asbestos found in crayons....

Wednesday, May 24, 2000
Asbestos Found in Crayons

      Should you be concerned when you see your child coloring with crayons? A new report says yes.
      According to laboratory studies conducted for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, three popular brands of coloring crayons tested positive for asbestos. Of the 40 crayons tested from brands that showed asbestos, 80 percent of them were above the detectable trace level. These three brands are Crayola, Prang and Rose Art. They were tested in two government-certified laboratories.
      Crayon manufacturers responded that safety is their No. 1 priority and said they will review the manufacturing process and materials used.
      The Seattle Post-Intelligencer report says the asbestos may be a contaminant of the talc, a mineral used by many companies to strengthen coloring agents and parafin, a waxy substance, used in crayons.
      According to the newspaper, Crayola, the world's largest manufacturer, had asbestos levels in its crayons ranging from 0.05 percent in Carnation Pink to 2.86 percent in Orchid.
      "We believe our products pose absolutely no health risk," Tracey Muldoon Moran, a spokeswoman for Crayola, tells OnHealth. "This is one report that flies in the face of years and years of other reports that contradicts this." Muldoon Moran says the company is in contact with federal agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission. She also says Crayola is considering alternatives to talc. The company, she says, has asked the newspaper for a copy of its lab report, but so far has been denied.
      Prang's levels ranged from 0.3 percent in Periwinkle to 0.54 percent in a yellow crayon. And Rose Art showed 0.03 percent in a brown crayon and 1.20 percent in an orange crayon, according to the newspaper.
      The CPSC says it is currently discussing the problem with all crayon manufacturers to determine how much asbestos is in the crayons and how much can be potentially ingested by children. The newspaper tested a total of four domestic crayon brands and four foreign brands.
--By Katrina Woznicki

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