By Tara Culp-Ressler, http://thinkprogress.org
Several brands of crayons and toy detective kits have tested positive for asbestos, a knowncarcinogen, according to a report released this week by an environmental group that’s advocating for the government to crack down on the substance.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Action Fund partnered with two independent laboratories to test for asbestos in crayons and children’s crime scene fingerprint kits purchased at national retailers. Four brands of crayons and two crime scene kits came back positive with trace elements of the substance — even though toy manufacturers have previously promised to make sure their products are free from the potentially harmful material.
Products that tested positive for asbestos were all manufactured in China and imported to the United States. The toys essentially contain microscopic asbestos fibers that children may end up inhaling as they use them.
The risk of asbestos exposure from the products tested — which include crayons marketed with the popular characters Mickey Mouse, the Power Rangers, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — is relatively low. But environmental researchers and health experts argue that children shouldn’t be around asbestos all, particularly since the government has acknowledged there’s no “safe” level of exposure.
“Asbestos in toys poses an unacceptable risk to children,” Dr. Philip Landrigan, a pediatrics professor at Mt. Sinai Hospital, explains in the EWG Action Fund’s report. Landrigan used to be a senior adviser to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on children’s environmental health. Read more
By Ginger Christ, ehstoday.com
Gateway Parks LLC in January 2014 purchased property next to its existing park near Eagle, Idaho, to expand operations.
The company in May 2014 had an asbestos inspection completed on eight buildings on the new site in preparation of demolition of said buildings. Asbestos was found and the consultant submitted a bid for abatement, which Gateway Parks rejected.
Gateway Parks instead in mid-2014 demolished some of the buildings without safely removing the asbestos or notifying the EPA. Read more
By Lance Hernandez, http://www.thedenverchannel.com/
Work crews unknowingly loosened the dangerous fibers when they began replacing windows at the Carmel Park Apartments several weeks ago.
State health officials say the asbestos was in a texture compound on existing drywall, and that some of the drywall had been cut away to remove the old windows and install the new.
They say just a small amount of material was loosened in the affected apartments.
The contamination wasn’t discovered until a repairman, who knew there was asbestos in the popcorn ceiling, told the window installers there “might” be asbestos in the drywall texture.
“They tested it and found asbestos,” said Christopher Dann of the Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Apartment management then sent a note to affected tenants asking them to move out temporarily while licensed crews clean up the contamination. Read More
By Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio
The Ashland County Board may consider a ban on explosives that disturb asbestos in rock formations, including at the proposed iron ore mine site.
Ashland County Board Chairman Pete Russo says he’s getting lots of calls from citizens who are worried about asbestos and mesothelioma, a fatal lung cancer caused by airborne asbestos fibers. Recent reports by Northland College geoscience professor Tom Fitz and the Department of Natural Resources have found that asbestos fibers are in at least part of the ore body that Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) hopes to mine.
The DNR says it needs more information before they know if that ore body is dangerous, while Fitz calls the asbestos lethal.
Russo has called a special meeting of the Mining Impact Committee Wednesday, which will hear testimony from Fitz and the DNR. Then, he says, the committee will consider an ordinance which would ban using explosives on asbestos rock. Read More
- More asbestos-like material found at iron ore mine site, geologist says (jsonline.com)
- Asbestos fiber found in rock at proposed mine site (nbc15.com)