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Parents need to protect their children from asbestos

All parents understand the joys of watching their children play. The wonderment you feel as you see their imaginations in full bloom. The pride you feel when they emulate your mannerisms and behavior. Your relief when you can stop chasing them for a bit and enjoy their youthful innocence and exuberance. But how would all this change if they were secretly harming themselves? What if you were partly responsible for the damage?

The fact is that many parents accidentally expose their children to a harmful carcinogen. Despite everything people know about the dangers of asbestos, some manufacturers continue to work it into their crayons, toys and makeup kits. It’s bad enough when companies knowingly expose adults to this toxic material. It’s downright maddening to think that companies might be putting your child at risk for mesothelioma, lung cancer or any of the other diseases linked to asbestos.

What can parents do?

Asbestos can be a quiet killer because it can lurk inside a body for decades before it causes harm. That said, scientists have not yet identified any amount of exposure they can label “safe.” Accordingly, it’s in your best interest as a parent to limit your child’s risk of exposure as much as you can. When someone releases news that testers found asbestos in a product like the Princess Girl’s All-in-One Deluxe Makeup Palette, you can choose not to buy it. If you have it, you can remove it from your house.

You can also avoid talc-based crayons, makeup kits and toys of all varieties. Testers have found asbestos in such talc-based items as:

  • Imported crayons
  • Toy fingerprint kits
  • Toy crime scene investigation kits
  • Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder
  • Toy makeup kits

Children who use products made with asbestos risk inhaling the fibers when they get into the air. They may also absorb the fibers through their skin. This makes the powders particularly dangerous.

EWG offers several other pieces of advice that parents can keep in mind:

  • Be wary of cosmetics. Manufacturers aren’t always required to test them before they go to market.
  • In addition to asbestos, toy makeup kits may expose your children to lead and other harmful chemicals.
  • Products that market a “fragrance” may be made with all kinds of different chemicals.
  • Carefully research your choice of any nail polish, lipstick or other substances you may apply to your child’s face or skin.

You may also want to be careful about knock-off brands. Cheaper, imported brands are often manufactured with lower standards and less oversight.

Regain your peace of mind

No parent wants to think they might have contributed to their child’s eventual cancer diagnosis. And while it’s utterly reprehensible when manufacturers release products they know might contain asbestos, there are steps you can take to limit your child’s odds of exposure.

Researching your purchases may add a few minutes to your shopping trips, but it’s worth it. Even over the course of dozens or hundreds of trips, the delays still won’t add up to the years you might be giving back to your kid. Nor will they overshadow the peace of mind you can once again enjoy as you watch your children play.

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