CPSC Releases Test Results on Crayons
Industry to Reformulate
Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
today released results of tests on crayons after concerns were raised
about asbestos in some popular brands.
CPSC found a trace amount of asbestos in two Crayola crayons made
by Binney and Smith and one Prang crayon made by Dixon Ticonderoga.
However, the amount of asbestos is so small it is scientifically
In Crayola crayons and Prang crayons, CPSC also found larger
amounts of another fiber, called "transitional" fiber, which is similar
in appearance to asbestos fiber. While there are potential concerns
about these fibers if children are exposed to them, CPSC tests concluded
that the risk a child would be exposed to the fibers either through
inhalation or ingestion is extremely low and there is no scientific
basis for a recall.
The risk of exposure to the fibers from using crayons is low. In a
simulation of a child vigorously coloring with a crayon for half an
hour, no fibers were found in the air. The risk of exposure by eating
crayons is also low because the fibers are imbedded in wax and pass
through a child's body. However, CPSC concluded that these fibers should
not be in children's crayons in the long term.
As a precaution, because crayons are intended for use by children,
CPSC asked industry to reformulate crayons using substitute ingredients.
Binney and Smith and Dixon Ticonderoga quickly volunteered to
reformulate within a year to eliminate the fibers. Rose Art, which has only a small percentage of crayons made with talc, also agreed to
"Where children are concerned, you have to be extra cautious,
"said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "The risk is low but the concerns with
these fibers should not be ignored. I'm pleased that all the major
manufacturers, including Crayola, Prang and Rose Art went the extra mile
to allay concerns about these fibers."
CPSC tests concluded that there is no cause for concern. Parents
and teachers can continue to use the crayons they have and purchase
crayons from store shelves.
Transitional fibers can be found in talc, which is used as a
binding agent in some crayons. Talc is a mineral that can be found with
many other types of minerals in some rock formations.
The CPSC tests were conducted by a government lab and a private
lab to see whether consistent results would be obtained. Both labs had
similar results. The sophisticated testing included analysis of the
fibers through light refraction and visual examination through an
CPSC will continue to monitor children's crayons to make sure they
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, you can go to CPSC's forms page and use the first on-line form on that page. Or, you can call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. To order a press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax machine and enter the release number. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information from CPSC's web site at www.cpsc.gov or by calling the hotline or sending your request to email@example.com. You can also subscribe to CPSC's email subscription list which normally sends all press releases the day they are issued.