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Some crayons are believed to contain asbestos

Protecting their children from illness and injury is a parent's top priority. This causes parents to worry about everything from playground injuries to an outbreak of influenza. It turns out that parents may also need to add crayons to the list of safety issues for their children.

According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), some crayons made by Playskool contain asbestos in toxic amounts. The group tested more than 35 packages of crayons bought at a Chicago-based Dollar Tree store. Because Kingsport is home to several Dollar Tree stores, residents may wonder if the allegedly asbestos-tainted crayons may have harmed their children.

Exposure to asbestos has been linked to serious and life-threatening illnesses such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. It can take years or even decades for these illnesses to manifest, but parents can start watching for symptoms of illness right now. They include shortness of breath, persistent cough, chest pains and many others. It may also be a good idea to talk to an attorney experienced in handling asbestos claims in case an illness should occur.

Currently, no laws exist to regulate how much asbestos is allowed in products for children, according to U.S. PIRG. At this time, no tainted crayons have been identified in Tennessee retail establishments.

In the meantime, it is wise to avoid Playskool crayons that may still be available for purchase in brick-and-mortar retail stores and via online retailers like Amazon. Executives with Dollar Tree said that no asbestos turned up in independent testing of Playskool crayons. A spokesperson with Hasbro, the parent company of Playskool, said that the company is currently investigating the issue.

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