Asbestos found in crayons

  • 17/09/2015
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By Lucy Warhurst

Tests commissioned by the Ministry of Health have found the presence of asbestos in some crayons.

Twenty-one products were randomly selected to be tested, with the presence of asbestos found in three of them.

The affected brands are:

The Ministry of Health says the risk to consumers is considered to be low.

If parents or carers have concerns about their crayons they can check the list below, contact the suppliers, or stop using them and throw them away.

Agencies agree that while it is currently legal for products to contain asbestos, it is not appropriate for children’s products, such as crayons, to contain the substance.

The Ministry for the Environment is currently consulting on a proposal to ban the import of asbestos-containing products to New Zealand.

The research by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that the presence of asbestos is linked to the use of talc as a binding agent in the crayons. Talc and asbestos are similar in composition, are naturally occurring and form in similar locations. This can lead to natural cross-contamination and is believed to be the reason asbestos is being detected in some crayons.

The 21 brands tested were:

Three of the samples tested contained asbestos. These are:

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