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The public is generally aware that asbestos is dangerous, but you may be surprised to learn that the U.S. government does not regulate its use in certain household products and school supplies. While many companies exercise due diligence in eliminating this known toxin, others are less careful about protecting consumers, and the results can be devastating. In a recent example, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) uncovered a dangerous amount of tremolite asbestos fibers in all the Playskool crayons they tested. Now PIRG and other advocacy groups are calling for Hasbro (the parent company of Playskool) to recall their crayons, and for the manufacturer, Leap Year Publishing, to review their tests.
Playskool crayons are a staple for some back-to-school shoppers and parents, and they are sold virtually everywhere, from Dollar Tree to Amazon. As they are intended for children, it’s all the more vital that these products be rigorously tested before release. By failing to prevent asbestos from contaminating crayons, Hasbro and Leap Year Publishing may have acted negligently and harmed families across the country in the process. In this post, our mesothelioma attorneys at The Ferraro Law Firm, P.A. will discuss the dangers of this toxic substance, and advise you on what you can do to protect your family if you’ve been exposed.
What Are the Dangers of Asbestos Exposure?
While most people know that asbestos is toxic, not everyone knows what makes this substance so fatal. Asbestos has been used in commercial products and manufacturing for centuries, and it became even more popular after World War II because of its cost-effectiveness. But by the late 1970s, it had been classified as a known carcinogen, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of asbestos in most products. Unfortunately, not all products were included in this ban, and as of today the EPA still refuses to fully ban asbestos, making the U.S. one of the only developed countries in the world that has not done so.
Asbestos exposure is estimated to cause up to 15,000 deaths per year from illnesses like:
- Lung cancer
- Asbestosis, or lung fibrosis
- Ovarian cancer
How Can I Protect My Family from Asbestos?
In the long-term, exposure to asbestos can be fatal. However, if you or your children are at serious risk, there are several early-detection tests that can be performed by a specialist. If you do contract an asbestos-related illness, there are many treatment options, including chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Ultimately, one of the best ways to protect your family from asbestos exposure is to hold big companies like Hasbro accountable for their negligence, and to demand that they remove this toxin from our environment immediately. The risks are too great to allow corporate greed to affect our families’ health. In cases like these, the civil court can provide a recourse that criminal proceedings cannot, in the form of a product liability lawsuit.