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Asbestos and Benzene in Crayons and Markers

school supplies

Story at-a-glance -

  • Asbestos describes six types of fibrous, heat-resistant, known carcinogenic minerals, which are banned in nearly 60 countries and kills 100,000 people each year
  • Researchers found asbestos in Playskool crayons, phthalates in blue three-ring binders, and benzene in dry erase markers, all commonly purchased in back-to-school supplies for young children
  • As Brazil recently banned mining and use of asbestos, Russia gears up to be the primary exporter to the U.S.; an attorney for the EWG fears a new EPA proposal may open the door to greater use of asbestos in consumer products
  • Seek out labels indicating the product has been tested and is free of harmful chemicals, such as the AP label from The Art and Creative Materials Institute

By Dr. Mercola

The term “asbestos” is used to describe six types of fibrous, heat-resistant asbestos minerals: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite — all of which are carcinogenic to humans. While asbestos kills 100,000 people each year and is banned in nearly 60 countries, the mineral continues to be legally used in the U.S.


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