The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund recently tested 27 common kids’ products and found asbestos in a crayon and benzene in a marker. The article appeared in an August 8 article in the New York Times.

One of the crayons tested – a green Playskool crayon – showed trace amounts of tremolite, which is a form of asbestos. All other crayons tested – Crayola, Up & Up, Cra-Z-Art, Disney Junior Mickey and the Roadster Racers, and RoseArt – tested negative for asbestos.

Benzene, a known carcinogen, was found in six magnetic markers produced by The Board Dudes, which is owned by Mattel. Washable markers from Crayola and Jot nested negative.
The organization also examined three 3-ring binders for phthalates, chemicals that may affect human reproduction and development. Only one, a Jot-brand, 1-inch binder, tested positive.

When contacted, the relevant companies agreed to review claims but maintained that their products currently comply with all safety standards.

by Kate Lynch