Schools are being warned that potentially-deadly asbestos has been found in crayons aimed at primary school-age children.
Testing carried out by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and WorkSafe Victoria found asbestos at trace levels in the following products:
- Dora the Explorer personalised 32 pack crayons
- Dora the Explorer jumbo crayons
- Arti Crafti 16 piece crayons
- Peppa Pig 8 wax crayons
- Disney “Frozen” jumbo crayons
- Disney “Mickey Mouse and Friends” crayons
Although the levels are very small and due to the fibres being completely mixed into the wax of the crayons the risk is very small with the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency advising: “Studies have shown that as a result, asbestos fibres would not be released during normal use or as a result of ingestion.”
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said that despite the low risk: “We do not want to take any chances, so as a precaution we are urging consumers, especially parents and teachers, to check the brand of any crayons in their home or school and to dispose of crayons that appear on the alert list.”
Any schools that do have stocks of the crayons on the list should not simply dispose of them in garbage collections as this contravenes strict laws on the handling of asbestos, even at low levels.
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said: “Environmental protection laws in all states and territories prohibit the disposal of asbestos via standard garbage collection and, if not returned to your supplier, products should be taken to an asbestos disposal facility.” Schools can find such facilities at the ASEA website