A new report tested common school supplies like crayons and binders and finds a few products have toxins that are known to cause health problems.
The independent group, U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund has been testing school products for 30 years. Their latest assessment found one brand of crayons, Playskool, had a green crayon that tested positive for asbestos.
Dr. Blake Froberg, Riley Children’s Health pediatrician and toxicologist, says asbestos is a known carcinogen but most of the research has focused on long-term, inhalation exposure.
“Within crayons it’s going to be encapsulated within the wax of the crayon and so there is probably less risk that the child is going to get inhalation exposure,” says Froberg.
The tests also identified benzene in The Board Dudes dry erase markers. Froberg says it’s inevitable that some chemicals are present in our products.
“At the same time, I think that companies can continue to try and do their part to limit any exposure to known toxins,” says Froberg.
The companies involved responded to the report and say they do test and meet federal standards.
The study looked at a variety of products including water bottles, lunch boxes and rulers which all tested negative.
Authors of the report called on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to conduct more testing.