Consumer Products with Any Asbestos Would be Banned Under Ban Asbestos in America Act
December 7, 2007 - Asbestos was found in a popular Christmas toy for children, according to The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Scientific Analytical Institute who teamed up to test hundreds of products for asbestos. ADAO, an organization made up of asbestos victims and their families, organized the testing with government laboratories where the products suspected of containing asbestos were tested. Results from the tests concluded that an alarming amount of asbestos was found in several common products, including the popular CSI Investigation Kit, a toy based on the "CSI" science-crime television series.
"I can definitively say that asbestos has been found and confirmed present in many different products," stated Sean Fitzgerald, President Geologist and Senior Microscopist of Scientific Analytical Institute, Inc. "The initial question asked in this study was: 'Do products currently for sale and available to the public in America contain asbestos?' That question can now assuredly be answered, 'Yes.' In light of the substantial findings of this limited product survey, I believe that a more comprehensive program of product testing for asbestos in common household products is of utmost importance." (ADAO Press Release, November 28, 2007)
Asbestos Found in Many Common Household Products
The many household items, toys, and common products testing positive for asbestos will shock most consumers. On the Environmental Protection Agency website, the products listed that may contain asbestos are mostly building materials. However, the ADAOtests reveal that many products contaminated by asbestos are products that people commonly use every day. Products that were found to contain asbestos were turned up in children's toys, appliances, hardware, household goods, and home and garden items such as:
- CSI Fingerprint Investigation Kit
- Six colors of clay in Art Skills' Clay Bucket
- Three varieties of Ja-Ru Toy Clay
- DAP 33 window glazing, made in the USA, and purchased at Lowe's and Home Depot
- DAP Crack Shot spackling paste, made in the USA, and purchased at Lowe's and Home Depot
- Gardner Leak Stopper Roof Patch made in the USA, and purchased at Lowe's, Home Depot and Wal-Mart
- Scotch Duct Tape: High Performance, made in Canada, and purchased at Wal-Mart.
Asbestos, There is No Such Thing as a "Safe Amount"
Products containing less than 1 percent would not be prohibited under the Ban Asbestos in America Act, recently passed by Senate. Many activists and health experts believe that all levels of asbestos are hazardous and push for the ban of all asbestos products.
"Although their significance has often successfully been obscured in the public debate through political and financial issues raised by those who profit from asbestos, the fact of the matter is that asbestos fibers are agents of death," according to Michael R. Harbut, MD, MPH, FCCP, Co-Director, Karmanos Cancer Institute's National Center for Vermiculite and Asbestos-Related Cancers. "There is no such thing as a safe level of exposure to asbestos fibers. Each and every fiber represents an increased risk of unnecessary death and unnecessary suffering." (ADAO Press Release, November 28, 2007)
The CSI Fingerprint Investigation Kit contains about five percent asbestos. The CSI kit, purchased at Toys R Us and made in China, includes a brush and three types of powder that children use for lifting fingerprints. Scientists discovered that two of the powders, the white and the glow powder, contained asbestos. It is possible that children could breathe the asbestos-laced fingerprint powder into their lungs. Inhaling asbestos fibers can cause severe, debilitating diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer, and asbestosis many years after the initial exposure to asbestos.
Unless the CSI kit is pulled from the shelves, it is expected to be a top seller this holiday season. CBS Consumer Products and Planet Toys in New York City stated that independent testing will be done on the product, and if it is found unsafe they will remove it. A spokesman for the manufacturer and distributor, Planet Toys in New York City said, "the kit has been tested and has met all safety standards requirements as set by toy safety agencies and legislation, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission." She added, "The agencies don't require asbestos testing and therefore we have never been apprised of any unacceptable levels of asbestos." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 27, 2007)
Dr. Aubrey Miller of the U.S. Public Health Service stated, "There is no excuse for this. The fact that asbestos is still being found in consumer products is appalling." Dr. Miller has been researching asbestos health issues with the Environmental Protection Agency for almost a decade. He went on to say, "Even more concerning are products sold to be used by children. They have more time to exhibit the health effects from exposure to these disease-causing fibers." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 27, 2007)
Although building products are banned with asbestos concentrations of more than one percent, there are no current standards set for limiting the use of asbestos in consumer products. "It is so unfortunately ironic that it would actually be illegal to have more than one percent in building products, but not to be in a children's toy or a household consumer good," said Doug Larkin, communications director for the ADAO, which was formed by the family members of people who had died from asbestos-related cancers. (The Daily Green, November 29, 2007) More than 40 countries have banned asbestos because of its cancerous and deadly nature.
Asbestos Cancer and Your Legal Rights
With our main office located in California, the asbestos attorneys at Brayton Purcell have been extensively involved in protecting the legal rights of asbestos victims, including injured workers and their families for over 24 years. Many of our clients suffer from asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other asbestos-related diseases. We will provide a free evaluation of your potential case if you have been exposed to asbestos and think you may have developed an asbestos-related disease.