An asbestos watchdog organization recently published the results of a study that noted the presence of asbestos in a popular children’s toy as well as several frequently used household products.
According to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, two brands of children’s clay, powdered cleanser, roof sealers, duct tapes, window glazing, spackling paste and a few different small appliances were among the products in which asbestos was found by at least two of three labs hired by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.
The group, which is made up of volunteers who are either victims of asbestos diseases or members of victim’s family, says they spent in excess of $165,000 to hire the labs that performed the testing. The government-certified labs examined literally hundreds of products throughout the last 18 months.
Most of the funds spent on projects such as this come from contributions from group members themselves. Little outside funding is provided. When asked why they spend their own money for such programs, Linda Reinstein, the executive director of the group said it was a must.
“We had to. No one else was doing it,” said Reinstein, who is also the group’s co-founder. “This is information that consumers and Congress must have because asbestos is lethal and we naively believe that the government is protecting us, when it’s not.”
Of the utmost concern, Reinstein stressed, is the fingerprinting kit, which she says is a big seller during this holiday season. The kit, which is made in China, is one of several items licensed by CBS after its popular “CSI” science-crime shows. This toy contains tools, inks, and three types of very fine powders — white, black and glow-in-the-dark. High levels of two types of asbestos were found in the white and the glow powder.
CBS Consumer Products Division is currently examining the situation. “We’ve asked our licensee to immediately conduct an independent test in the U.S. for asbestos. If the toy is determined to be unsafe, then we will insist that the licensee remove it from the market,” a statement from a CBS spokesman said.
The article explains that tested products which contained less than one percent asbestos were not red flagged. The fingerprinting kit contained five percent of the hazardous material. The highest reading belonged to a roof sealer, which contained thirty percent asbestos.