In late 2007, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) found asbestos-tainted toys had reached the shelves of thousands of toy stores across the country. Most notably, the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, which was made in China, had been found to contain asbestos in its white and glow powder.
While production of the toy has ceased, an article from The New York Times in April 2008 elaborated on the near forgotten incident. The ADAO has filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court against CBS Corporation, Planet Toys Inc. (manufacturers of the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit) and several retailers for their involvement in the sale of the asbestos-tainted toy. Families affected by the contaminated toy should also consider developing litigation for the exposure of “substantial quantities of tremolite asbestos.”
The ADAO has also continued its testing of other products and found several containing asbestos, including additional children’s toys.
ADAO is an organization that utilizes volunteers, several of whom have either been affected directly by asbestos-related illnesses or have watched friends and family suffer from the diseases, including mesothelioma. The ADAO acts as an asbestos watchdog although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually regulates legalities of asbestos violations.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is considered a human carcinogen by the federal Department of Health and Human Services and is a “naturally occurring, fibrous silicate mineral,” according to the EPA. Asbestos becomes deadly when microscopic fiber bundles bind and become airborne.
When inhaled, the results can be deadly and severely damage an individual’s body through the development of mesothelioma cancer. In addition to mesothelioma, asbestos can cause lung cancer or asbestosis, in which fibrous tissue scars the lungs.
Asbestos that was mined was used in an array of industries, according to the EPA:
* thermal/acoustic insulator used for fire proofing
* roofing and siding shingles made with asbestos cement
* textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints
* artificial ashes and embers for gas-fired fireplaces
* stove-top pads
* vinyl floor tiles, flooring and adhesives
* asbestos blanket or tape for hot water and steam pipes
* oil and coal furnaces
Asbestos-Affected Children’s Toys
Tracing asbestos can be a difficult process because it is often overlooked, especially since it is not a common ingredient in manufacturing products anymore, although, it was at one time. The ADAO has been testing thousands of products for the contamination of asbestos in toys as well as regular products. Currently, they have determined several toys to have had trace amounts of asbestos including:
* CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit
* Ja-Ru Toy Clay (found among three varieties of the product)
* Art Skills’ Clay Bucket (asbestos found in six colors of clay)
Additionally, there are several other products the ADAO found with asbestos traces that are not directly related to children’s toys, but could still affect a child’s health. Even talc baby powder has been alleged to contain asbestos fibers. Other products that have been found with asbestos contamination, according to the ADAO, include:
* Scotch High Performance and All Weather Duct tapes
* DAP Crack Shot Spackling Paste
* DAP 33 Window Glazing
* Gardner Leak Stopper
The organization also found that hair rollers, hot plates, powdered cleansers and small appliances were at risk for adversely affecting public health with asbestos fibers. The organization noted that these products are all being sold at national retail chains including:
* Toys “R” Us
* Home Depot
* Bed Bath & Beyond
Consumer Affairs, a Web-based consumer news and resource center, issued the following tips to assist parents, relatives and friends with purchasing toys for children, in order to better protect children from asbestos exposure. The list includes the following:
* Be a vigilant shopper and read all warnings that may include a toy breaking, containing small parts or fire and choking hazards.
* Read product reviews that are both done by independent panels and consumers.
* Research information on the most recent product recalls.
* Inspect toys; any toys that are broken should be thrown away.
* Research how, where and when a product was created.
What to do if Your Child is Exposed to Asbestos
If a child is exposed or even may have potentially been exposed to asbestos containing tremolite, it is imperative that medical assistance is sought immediately. Because of the nature of asbestos-induced conditions, if a child is exposed to asbestos and goes untreated as if everything were fine, they could develop mesothelioma cancer years later, which is why immediate medical care is advisable.
Because asbestos exposure among children is considered extremely avoidable, developing a lawsuit for damages incurred may be a necessary step. Victims should located an experienced mesothelioma attorney to learn more about developing a mesothelioma lawsuit.