Watch Out: The Crayons That Come with Your Local Restaurant’s Kids Menu Could Contain Asbestos

Staff Writer
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization urges restaurants to give out crayons that are 100-percent asbestos-free

Photo Modified: Flickr/ Paul B./ CC License 2.0

Yes, some brands of crayons contain asbestos.

Well, color us brick red, because we’re pretty surprised and angry. Did you know that some crayons contain dangerous traces of asbestos?  The use of asbestos, which has been identified as a carcinogen, is illegal under federal law for building and construction materials, but not crayons.

Since many family-friendly restaurants that give out crayons to youngsters often use off-brand (i.e. not Crayola) coloring tools, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is urging restaurants everywhere to tread cautiously.

Multiple brands of crayons, including Amscan (which sells popular character-themed crayons like Mickey Mouse and Power Rangers), have tested positive for asbestos traces. The presence of the known carcinogen is most likely due to talc, a popular binding agent in crayons. The organization is asking the National Restaurant Association to be vigilant in making sure that each aspect of a child’s meal, including the crayons, is safe.

“A family outing to their favorite restaurant should be a fun experience where youngsters and their parents can enjoy themselves without being unwittingly exposed to asbestos,” Linda Reinstein, president of the ADAO, said in a statement. 

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