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Consumer Watchdog Says Popular Crayons Contain Deadly Amounts of Asbestos

A consumer watchdog group recently released a report detailing how several popular brands of various school supplies may contain harmful levels of various toxins, including asbestos, which is known to cause deadly forms of cancer. Specifically, the report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) claims Playskool brand crayons test positive for deadly amounts of asbestos and the group demands the manufacturers pull the products from shelves and send warning letters to parents who may have purchased the supplies for children.

According to the consumer protection report issued by the U.S. PIRG, detailed lab results showed 36-pack Playskool crayons manufactured by Leap Year under license from Hasbro contained asbestos contaminated talc. The group claims the crayons were purchased from a Chicago-area Dollar Tree retail store but the same types of crayons are available from many major retailers and online. Other school supplies tested by U.S. PIRG showed products ranging from markers to water bottles contained disturbing amounts of other known carcinogens.

While talc does not contain asbestos itself, the two are both naturally occurring minerals often found in deposits side by side. Since the 1970s, federal regulations have required talc to be asbestos-free, but if manufacturers and their suppliers do not exercise due care, asbestos can contaminate the talc and put innocent people at risk. Right now, thousands of people across the country have filed lawsuits alleging talc-based products produced by some of the country’s largest corporations caused their mesothelioma cancer diagnosis.

One of those companies is Johnson & Johnson, which stands accused of knowingly manufacturing its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder with talc sourced from asbestos-contaminated mines. Plaintiffs have filed mesothelioma cancer lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier, Imerys Talc USA seeking compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and punitive damages for gross negligence.

This year, juries in Missouri, California, and New Jersey have handed down substantial awards in talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits, including a $4.69 billion verdict in a St. Louis court on behalf of 22 plaintiffs. In New Jersey, jurors handed down a $117 million verdict to a plaintiff who contracted mesothelioma from asbestos contaminated talcum powder.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer directly linked to asbestos exposure. The disease commonly affects thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs such as the lungs, heart, and abdomen. The disease can have a latency period of anywhere from 20 to 50 years from the time of exposure, and by the time physicians do make a diagnosis, patients are often left with diminished treatment options.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

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