Major U.S. Retailers to Pull Asbestos Tainted Toy from Shelves
Independent Lab Studies Conducted by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) Found Dangerous Levels of Cancer-Causing Chemical in Popular Children's Toy
WASHINGTON – This week, major U.S. retailers and toy stores agreed to put public health above holiday profits and pulled the CSI: Fingerprint Examination Kit toy from their shelves. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and United States Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) had called for the action in letters to retailers last week in light of testing by three independent labs that found dangerous levels of the cancer-causing chemical asbestos.
The tests were commissioned by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which last month announced the results of it's exhaustive 18-month scientific study testing hundreds of consumer products for deadly cancer-causing asbestos fibers. The findings were extremely troubling. One product, the popular children’s toy – Planet Toys CSI: Crime Scene Investigation™ Fingerprint Examination Kits– had high levels of asbestos in some samples of the fingerprint dust children put directly on their fingers and likely breathe into their lungs when the dust goes airborne. Children are directed to blow the asbestos contaminated dust to reveal the fingerprints.
"Major retailers stepped in when the federal government failed to act. They should be congratulated. Their actions will protect an untold number of children from the very real danger of asbestos-caused cancer later in life," said Richard Wiles, Executive Director of Environmental Working Group. "Today's action would not have been possible, without the courage of ADAO and Senator Murray in confronting the ongoing dangers posed by asbestos," Wiles added.
“Given the grave health risks associated with asbestos exposure, ADAO acknowledges Planet Toys voluntarily issued a ‘stop sale’ this morning," said Linda Reinstein, ADAO Executive Director and Co-Founder. "Once asbestos is inhaled or swallowed, the damage is irreversible. Prevention is the only cure.”
Particularly troubling about this toy is that children are directed to blow the asbestos contaminated powder after dusting for fingerprints, which makes it much more likely that children playing with this toy would actually inhale potentially lethal asbestos fibers. Any amount of asbestos fiber in a children’s toy, particularly in a powder that is certain to be inhaled, is unacceptable and unnecessary.
The type of asbestos detected in these kits, tremolite, is one the most lethal forms of asbestos, and a single day's exposure is sufficient to cause lung cancer later in life. Earlier this year Senator Murray's bill to ban asbestos passed the Senate unanimously. Under the Murray bill the levels of asbestos found in this toy would have made this product illegal in the U.S.
EWG is a not-for-profit research organization that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG's work on asbestos can be viewed at http://www.ewg.org/featured/231.
ADAO was founded in 2004 by asbestos victims and their families. ADAO seeks to give asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice to help ensure their rights are fairly represented and protected, while raising public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and often deadly asbestos related diseases. ADAO is an independent organization funded through voluntary contributions and staffed by volunteers.