Consumer group: Toxic levels of asbestos found in a popular brand of crayons

(WHDH) — A popular brand of crayons sold by Dollar Tree, Amazon and other retailers have tested positive for toxic levels of asbestos, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

The consumer advocacy group looked at 36 packs of Playskool crayons and a series of tests uncovered dangerous amounts of tremolite asbestos fiber, officials said.

The group’s toxics director, Kara Cook-Shultz, told Asbestos.com that researchers were “testing a variety of different back-to-school products so people could make some wise decisions on what to buy.”

Asbestos is a mineral that can cause lung cancer or mesothelioma if inhaled or ingested.

Playskool was the lone brand of crayons to test positive for asbestos, the group noted.

Other common school supplies also tested positive for potentially dangerous toxins as well, according to the group’s Safer School Supplies Shopping Guide.

Phthalates were said to be found in Jot-brand blue binders sold at Dollar Tree. Benzene, a carcinogen linked to an array of dangerous disruptions, was said to be found in a brand of dry-erase markers sold by The Board Dudes and Amazon.

Two water bottles reviewed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission were recalled for high levels of lead.

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