Durbin calls for ban on asbestos in children's products
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Wednesday urging the agency to implement a rule on asbestos modeled on the present rules for lead or phthalates in toys.
Their request came after the Environmental Working Group said in a report that it found asbestos in children’s products in the United States. The report said the asbestos was probably contained in contaminated talc used in the products, which were manufactured in China. The products include crayon sets and toy fingerprint kits.
In their letter, Durbin and Markey also asked the CPSC to ban talc in children's toys. They also forwarded letters to four retailers that sold contaminated items, asking them to remove the products from the shelves.
“Children’s playtime should be filled with fun, not asbestos,” Durbin and Markey wrote. “The toys and crayons promoting creativity and curiosity might actually expose children to carcinogens. We need greater access to information about where asbestos is present in products children and families use every day. We have already introduced legislation to increase the amount of information available to the public about where asbestos is found. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also needs to have the resources necessary to intercept these dangerous imported products before they reach the hands of children, and retailers should quickly cease sales and issue voluntary recalls of toxic products."
Although banned in many countries, asbestos is not banned in the United States and is still imported into the country.